Native American Names for God: One Name is Not Descriptive Enough

Native American Names for God

An 1891 illustration of a Ghost Dance, a dance of worship and supplication. CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia

Native American Names for God

How the Creator is referred to in each language would fill a book. We said “Kitchi Manito” or Great Spirit, or just “Manito” meaning Spirit. The Creator was referred to as “Mishomis” meaning Grandfather. My Lakotah people will say “Wakan Tanka” which means Sacred Spirit.

He is “Kitchi Ogiima” to me or The Great Headman.

To read how “Wakan Tanka” spoke to me as a child, and how I grew to follow “Kitchi Ogiima” as a man, buy my book, Dancing My Dream, which is available through this web site and through

Print Friendly, PDF & Email