Wakan Tanka – Meaning, Symbol, prayer, definition

The meaning and definition

What is? Wakan Tanka in native american the Sioux name for the Great Spirit God or Great Mystery. The origin come from lakota people mythology and spirituality. They believe that everything in the world have a spirit and they have many gods.

The meaning is also known as «the divine» and «the sacred».

The word wakan means holly while tanka meaning is great,big or large. So it is the great sacred, great divine or large holly.

He is the sioux creator of the world or universe. It the All-Providing One.

The wakan tanka Spirit is paid reverence as providing for the needs of everyone. This reverence is displayed when the people honor the four directions, the Sun, Mother Earth, and their fellow man because these are their creation.

When honoring them, people honor the spirit of him which resides within each of them.

The great mystery, Power and symbol of Wakan Tanka

The  Native american mythology does not attempt to describe this Great Power, great spirit and great mistery that created all because:

  • «it is a Mystery,» they advise,
  • «leave it alone»
  • «no one describe such a vast mystery.»

It is traditional for the American Indian people not to argue over religious concepts. So, considering such arguments foolish, they invite everyone, especially the rainbow people, to join them.

Each in their own way and expression, in the reverence of him. A.G.H.


  • McGaa, Ed, «Eagle Man.» Mother Earth Spirituality. New York. HarperCollins. 1990 pp. 44-46