Lakota-Culture and Spirituality

From rolling plains to majestic mountains,
a diverse landscape decorates South Dakota.
These magical lands also hold a diverse population.
More than 62,000 American Indians live in South Dakota.
Most of them are Dakota, Lakota or Nakota people,
also known collectively as Sioux.

This nation traces its roots to the
"Oceti Sakowin" or "Seven Council Fires."
Each of the allied bands within this nation
spoke one of three different dialects.
The Santee spoke Dakota; the Yankton, Nakota;
and the Teton, Lakota.

Tradition holds the forces of nature as holy
and emphasizes the importance of balance
among all things in the universe.
This balance remains an instrumental piece of life,
as to the cardinal virtues of "woksape" (wisdom), "woohitika" (bravery),
"wowacintanka" (fortitude) and "wacantognaka" (generosity).

Creation of the Buffalo Nation
"The Great Spirit Skan made us with bones
from Stone, bodies from Earth,
and souls from himself, Wind and Thunders.
The gifts of Sun, Wisdom, Moon, and Revealer gave us life.
A council of the spirits named us
Pte Oyate - Buffalo Nation - and told us to care for the spirits.

One day Spider sent Wolf to the Underworld to tell Tokahe
that life would be easier on the surface of the earth.
Tokahe ignored the warnings of the holy man Tatanka,
and led the people up through Wind Cave.
Life there was hard, so Tatanka came to help- as a great, shaggy beast.
Since then the people have lived here with the buffalo."

*Lakota creation story courtesy of the South Dakota State Historical Society.

Milestones in Sioux History

White Feather's Sioux Heritage
Learn more Sioux History above.


Grandfather Great Spirit All Over The World

The Faces Of Living Things Are Alike.

With Tenderness, They Have Come Up Out Of The Ground.

Look Upon Your Children That They May Face The Winds

And Walk The Good Road To The Day Of Quiet.

Grandfather Great Spirit

Fill Us With The Light.

Give Us The Strength To Understand And The Eyes To See.

Teach Us To Walk The Soft Earth As Relatives

To All That Live.

~Sioux Prayer

Courtesy of Elan Michaels

The fabulous midi is composed by Elan Michaels
entitled, Buffalo Dance and used with his permission Dec. 2, 2002.
You may visit his wonderful site HERE

Text and layout
Copyright of Jim Henderson 2002-2003