Hunkapi – The Making of Relatives

Published on January 15, 2013 by Amy

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The Making of Relatives
The Making of Relatives

Hunkápi was first used to make peace between the Lakóta and Ree people. Making the Ree relatives ensured peace between the tribes. This relationship mirrored the relationship of the Lakóta people with Wakan Tanka.

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The first ceremony with the Ree took place over several days. Near the end came the painting of faces.

The women’s faces were painted red and the men’s were painted red with a blue circle around the face and blue lines on the forehead, cheekbones and chin.

Being painted symbolized change, indicating a person has been reborn and taken on new responsibilities and a new relationship. Past troubles between the new relatives are forgotten.

Today, one can become part of a Tiyóspaye – extended family, by birth, marriage or hunkápi.

Source: aktalakota Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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