wakan

wakan
Among some American Indian tribes, a spiritual power of supernatural origin belonging to some natural objects, people, horses, and celestial and terrestrial phenomena.

Wakan can be conceived of as weak or strong powers; the weak can be ignored but the strong must be placated. Wakan beings are the immortal supernatural powers who bestow wakan; they too may be weak or strong, but are all believed to enjoy music and smoke from pipes. Poisonous plants and reptiles can contain wakan, as can intoxicating drinks. The concept of wakan is similar to that of mana.

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▪ religious concept
also called  Wakonda, or Wakanda,  

      among various American Indian groups, a great spiritual power of supernatural origin belonging to some natural objects. Wakan may be conceived of as a weak or strong power; the weak powers can be ignored, but the strong ones must be placated. Poisonous plants and reptiles can contain wakan, as can intoxicating drinks. Wakan beings are the immortal supernatural powers who bestow wakan; they too may be weak or strong, but all are believed to enjoy music and pipe smoke. Wakan has no essential characteristics in itself; rather, it is a kind of holiness or wonderfulness inherent in some objects. Compare mana.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • wakan — En algunas tribus de indios norteamericanos, un poder espiritual de origen sobrenatural perteneciente a algunos objetos naturales, personas, caballos y fenómenos celestiales y terrenales. Wakan puede estar constituido en poderes débiles o fuertes …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • wakan — [akin to Eng wake] : awake. Deriv. wahtwo guard, wakjan (*) wake up, waknan (*) be awake, wokains vigil. Comp. duwakan wake up, gawaknan be awake, thairhwakan keep vigil, uswakjan wake up …   Gothic dictionary with etymologies

  • wakan — wa·kan …   English syllables

  • wakan — …   Useful english dictionary

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