View Full Version : Heyoka Shaman

11 Dec 2018, 08:49
Anyone else a Heyoka Shaman?

13 Dec 2018, 02:17
Would you care to share a little bit about what a Heyoka shaman is and what it entails? I'm not familiar with the term and a quick Google search indicates that the traditional Heyoka is not a shaman per se, and is specific to the Lakota peoples... so I'm interested to hear more about what a 'Heyoka shaman' is.

13 Dec 2018, 02:54
good question rae'ya,i would also like to know.

13 Dec 2018, 04:07
Anyone else a Heyoka Shaman?

Realistically, probably not. Mostly due to the fact not to many here actually claim a shamanic pathway. Especially a Pathway that is based upon the Lakota, Dakota, Oglala nations or tribal families. That aside, to be a Heyoka or Contrary is to be many things in the cultural context of the word and how it is seen in that society. It is the person who is "Touched" which means they could mentally challenged, it means they are touched by the spirit world, it means they could be touched by the ancestors, it means they were so many things and raised to certain levels but perhaps not beyond to become "Chosen."

But they are not Shaman as that truly doesn't exist nor does it mean they are Medicine People either. They maybe "Hollow Bones" or "Talking Sticks" through which "Spirit" speaks to the people or one of the Medicine People will read what the spirits have to say. But the person them self was touched but not actually chosen to go any further. All that means is they were changed by the Spirit Worlds touch but were never meant to be trained for guidance or service. In that situation they become a tool but are not specifically the one who reads the message of the spirit world.

As such they might be acting like a jester who makes fun of social norms. They might be the contrary who bathes in the dirt and dries off in the river. By today's standards they might be the male who sits with the woman and does woman's things, or the woman's who does man's things stepping outside of social norms. The person who walks backwards to get where they are going then crawls to leave for instance. Tries to cut meat with a spoon and pit up something with a knife or cut with their finger type thing. Even the person who rides a horse backwards into battle, wears their clothes backwards.

Basically contrary to the expected social norms for age, gender, custom, status, etc and tend to get away with it because they are seen as touched by "Spirit" and most times it didn't matter as to what race they are.

That is not to say the person who acts like a Heyoka can not also be a Keeper of a Sacred Relic, A Pipe Welder, Someone who deals with say the Moon Lodge, Sweat Lodges or other functions that would normally fall to one of the Medicine People or Spirit Functions.

To be honest this is another example where a word looses its full meaning when it becomes a "definition" and taken outside of it's cultural context. There's a whole panarama of mental and cultural images that go with the cultural picture that the people see with the "concept" that is no properly conveyed with just the definition of the word. Even trying to relate it to things I am familiar with and close to my own background it is hard at times. That's after finding common ground and semi-similar foundation stories and talking.

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Here's a clip of a contrary from the movie LITTLE BIG MAN