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Hunkapi - 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.

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

Painting of the Faces

Painting the Faces of the Sioux
©1980 Vera Louise Drysdale

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.

Sources:
The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux. Recorded and Edited by Joseph Epes Brown. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1953.

The Gift of the Sacred Pipe. Based on Black’s Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, recorded and edited by Joseph Epes Brown. Edited and Illustrated by Vera Louise Drysdale.

 

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