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Tiyóspaye - The Extended Family

The Making of Relatives
The Making of Relatives
©1980 Vera Louise Drysdale

The Lakota word Tiyóspaye is made up of two shorter words:

Ti - A shortened form of tipi, meaning dwelling or living place.
Óspaye - A cluster of dwellings or a group.

Every Lakota person has many relatives. All of them are part of his/her Tiyóspaye, the name given to indicate a person's circle of relatives, which includes mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and all relatives from marriage and adoption.

You become part of a Tiyóspaye either by birth, marriage or by the ceremony of hunkápi, adoption. When you know your relatives, you know where you come from and who you are.


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