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Native American Legends: Inyan
Tribal affiliation: Lakota and Dakota Sioux
Alternate spellings: Iya
Type: Native American stone god
Inyan is the primordial stone spirit of Lakota and Dakota mythology. Sometimes he is also known as
Tunkashila or Tunka, "Grandfather." Inyan often represents the traditional ways, justice, and the earth.
Some Dakota Sioux legends were recorded in which Inyan was said to be the father of the trickster
Ikto'mi, but these are unusual stories and
Inyan is not normally personified in Sioux mythology.
There are also some stories floating around out there claiming that Inyan is a good rock god, while
Iya is an evil rock god. This is definitely not the case. Inyan and Iya are exactly the same name-- which
literally means "Rock"-- spelled in two different Sioux orthographies (spelling systems.) Like all sacred
nature spirits in Lakota and Dakota mythology, Inyan is neither good nor evil... he simply is.
Coyote, Iktome, and the Rock:
Chickasaw myth about Iya punishing Coyote for his fickleness.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
The Sons of the Wind:
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Good collection of Sioux legends told by a Lakota author.
South Dakota Indian
Plains American Indian
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