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Native Sun News Today: Book shares antics of Iktomi the trickster

Iktomi by Gerald “Jerry” Yellow Hawk.

The antics of Iktomi in Lakota
By Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Today Editor

RAPID CITY –– Many Lakota Wakanyeja (children) grew up listening to the chronicles of Iktomi the trickster when at bedtime the Unci (Grandmothers) would relate in detail the escapades of this mischievous indigenous character.

Now Takoja (grandchildren) and adults alike can enjoy the antics of Iktomi and learn the Lakota Language at the same time through a book just released by Eyapaha Wakan (The Sacred Herald).

Eyapaha Wakan’s spirituality was influenced by his Mnikowoju grandfather Hehaka Pa (Elk Head), a medicine man and keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe. The living legend, Eyapaha Wakan, is a prominent wisdom keeper in He Sapa Wakan (the Sacred Black Hills) where he resides with his Tiyospaye (family).

Gerald “Jerry” Yellow Hawk, as he is known to many of us, grew up on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in a traditional family fluent in the Lakota language, where the ethos of the Mnikowoju became a natural part of his upbringing. His mother Annie (Elk Head) Yellow Hawk taught him the art of crafting from the vestiges of mother earth wearable art and other traditional apparel. She also gifted him the knowledge of traditional woman’s work, embellishment of clothing and moccasins with trade beads and other trinkets of nature reminiscent of his ancient ancestors.

The talented Eyapaha Wakan passed on to his Wakanyeja (children) and other members of his Tiyospaye (extended family) this traditional knowledge through his fine art as well as through traditional Lakota song and dance.

Now the gifted Mnikowoju elder is passing on to the rest of us his in-depth knowledge of the Lakota language through his recollection of stories about the trickster, Iktomi the spider, in Lakota along with the translated English version. Now readers and novice students of the Lakota language can learn while being entertained by the impish frolics of Iktomi.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: The antics of Iktomi in Lakota

(Contact Ernestine Chasing Hawk at

Copyright permission Native Sun News