The Four Directions

Published on January 14, 2013 by Amy

Love this article and want to save it to read again later? Add it to your favourites! To find all your favourite posts, check out My Favourites on the menu bar.

Native American “Four Directions”
Native American “Four Directions”

A long time ago, the White Buffalo Calf Woman came to Earth and gave the Lakota people the four winds or directions.

dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry

When the Lakota people pray or do anything sacred, they see the world as having four directions. From these four directions come the four winds. Each direction has a special meaning and color associated with it. The cross symbolizes all directions.

East (Yellow) – Wioheumpata – The direction from which the sun comes. Light dawns in the morning and spreads over the earth. This is the beginning of a new day. It is also the beginning of understanding because light helps us see things the way they really are. On a deeper level, East stands for the wisdom helping people live good lives. Traditional people rise in the morning to pray facing the dawn, asking God for wisdom and understanding.

South (White) – Itokaga – Because the southern sky is when the sun is at its highest, this direction stands for warmth and growing. The sun’s rays are powerful in drawing life from the earth. It is said the life of all things comes from the south. Also, warm and pleasant winds come from the south. When people pass into the spirit world, they travel the Milky Way’s path back to the south – returning from where they came.

West (Black) – Wiyokpiyata – To the west, the sun sets, and the day ends. For this reason, west signifies the end of life. As Black Elk says, “… toward the setting sun of his life.” The great Thunderbird lives in the west and sends thunder and rain from its direction. For this reason, the west is also the source of water: rain, lakes, streams and rivers. Nothing can live without water, so the west is vital.

North (Red) – Waziyata – North brings the cold, harsh winds of the winter season. These winds are cleansing. They cause the leaves to fall and the earth to rest under a blanket of snow. If someone has the ability to face these winds like the buffalo with its head into the storm, they have learned patience and endurance. Generally, this direction stands for hardships and discomfort to people. Therefore, north represents the trials people must ensure and the cleansing they must undergo.

Source: aktalakota

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged
Based on the collective work of NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
Cite This Source | Link To The Four Directions
Add these citations to your bibliography. Select the text below and then copy and paste it into your document.

American Psychological Association (APA):

The Four Directions NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com website: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-four-directions/

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

The Four Directions NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com. NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-four-directions/ (accessed: September 30, 2014).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"The Four Directions" NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 30 Sep. 2014. <NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-four-directions/>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, "The Four Directions" in NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-four-directions/. Available: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com. Accessed: September 30, 2014.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2014,
    title = {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged},
    month = Sep,
    day = 30,
    year = 2014,
    url = {http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-four-directions/},
}
You might also like:

Tags:  , , , , ,

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.