Great Spirit
The Great Spirit, also called Wakan Tanka
Wakan Tanka
In the Sioux way of life, Wakan Tanka is the term for "the sacred" or "the divine". This is usually translated as "The Great Spirit"...

among the Sioux
The Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects...

, the Creator or the Great Maker in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, and Gitchi Manitou
Gitche Manitou
Gitche Manitou means "Great Spirit" in several Algonquian languages. The term was also utilized to signify God by Christian missionaries, when translating scriptures and prayers, etc...

in Algonquian
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

, is a conception of a supreme being
Supreme Being
The term Supreme Being is often defined simply as "God", and it is used with this meaning by theologians of many religious faiths, including, but not limited to, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Deism. However, the term can also refer to more complex or philosophical interpretations of the...

 prevalent among some Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 and First Nations cultures. According to Lakotah activist Russell Means
Russell Means
Russell Charles Means is an Oglala Sioux activist for the rights of Native American people. He became a prominent member of the American Indian Movement after joining the organisation in 1968, and helped organize notable events that attracted national and international media coverage...

 a better translation of Wakan Tanka is the Great Mystery.

The Great Spirit or Great Mystery is generally believed to be personal, close to the people, and immanent in the fabric of the material world. Lakotah prayers refer to Him as Grandfather; however, not all Nations assign gender, or only one gender, to the Great Mystery. Chief Dan Evehema, a spiritual leader of the Hopi Nation
The Hopi are a federally recognized tribe of indigenous Native American people, who primarily live on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. The Hopi area according to the 2000 census has a population of 6,946 people. Their Hopi language is one of the 30 of the Uto-Aztecan language...

, described the Great Spirit as follows:
"To the Hopi, the Great Spirit is all powerful. He taught us how to live, to worship, where to go and what food to carry, gave us seeds to plant and harvest. He gave us a set of sacred stone tablets into which he breathed all teachings in order to safeguard his land and life. In these stone tablets were inscribed instructions, prophecies and warnings."

"Old Man" is how the Great Mystery is "known" by the Blackfoot people. Old Man personally created all things and personally instructed the Blackfoot people on how to attain spiritual wisdom in daily life:
Old Man is not an anthropomorphic and anthropopathic god like Jesus, nor a panentheistic deity as in Brahmanism out of which the whole fabric of existence is derived. Rather, Old Man is simply acknowledged to exist in the sense of the Aristotelian "prime mover" ("prime mover" idiom provided for the benefit of European audiences) and the traditional teachings are attributed to "him" as a source. There are specific tales regarding Old Man doing this or that or saying this or that but rather than being enshrined in a ritualistic, symbolic, or codified religion, these teachings are more used to guide individuals and communities on a moment-by-moment basis. It is not a set of laws or code of living as much as a cultural lifestyle which focuses on the daily needs of the individual and the nation rather than any "universal" speculation. [op cit.]

"Ababinili" is how the Great Mystery is "known" by the Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

 people. Ababinili personally created all things and personally instructed the Chickasaw people on "how to live long and healthy lives:"
In Chickasaw tradition Ababinili has extensive talks with various parts of "his" creation regarding the relation of mankind to Creation and how Creation and mankind each ought to behave in each case. [op cit.]

"Spider Woman
Spider Grandmother
The Spider Grandmother is creator of the world in Native American religions and myths such as that of the Pueblo and Navajo/Dineh peoples. According to mythology, she was responsible for the stars in the sky, she took a web she had spun, laced it with dew, threw it into the sky and the dew became...

" is the creative agency among the Hopi who personally created the four "colors" of mankind. "She" attributes to the Sun the power of Creation of all things and origin of all spiritual wisdom and in this way the Sun becomes the living manifestation for the Hopi of the Great Mystery which is personally "known" as Sotuknang:
This may sound similar to Constantine's adaptation of Jesus as the physical embodiment of the Pagan Sol Invictus in Christianity but it would be a mistake of similarity of appearance only. In all other regards it is a wholly independent concept which acknowledges real-life physical interdependence and relationships between the real physical Sun and all things in the web of Creation as opposed to allegorical symbolism prevalent in the Middle Eastern or African national (ethnic, not political) religions. In Hopi tradition, life is defined as a process of change and prevailing and persistent human concepts across time are known as distinct "worlds." This concept of life as a process of change is so prevalent that a person is acknowledged as a new identity each day and there is no such thing as a static personal identity upon which to create such static speculative religious concepts as an eternal Heaven or Hell as a "final destination." The spiritual teachings to the Hopi attributed to Sotuknang are functionally equivalent to those of the Great Mystery as "known" by all other Turtle Island
Turtle Island (North America)
Turtle Island is a term used by several Northeastern Woodland Native American tribes, especially the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy, for the continent of North America.-Iroquois:...

nations in that they specifically guide the individual and the nation as opposed to creating the speculative religious framework for universalism, conquest and domination enshrined in a ritualistic faith or dogmatic religion. [op cit.]
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