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Wówaunsila

(woh wah OON shee lah)

Compassion

 

It’s deathly cold when

Another’s sorrow draws no

Tear from my own eye

 

Wóyuonihan

(woh you OH ee han)

Respect

 

We stand on different

Hills, and I can see I need

The vision you share

 

Wöksape

(woke SAH pay)

Wisdom

 

What I have picked up

These years, treasured touchstones, have

Not stopped the picking

Virtue

Seven Lakota Virtues

a Haiku Cycle by Scott Simpson

inspired by Lakota / Dakota teachings

To learn about Lakota / Dakota "virtues" laws and teachings, speak with an indigenous Elder or culture-bearer. You can also visit WolakotaProject.org to listen to video interviews with indigenous Elders and teachers from across South Dakota.

 

Wówahwala

(woh wah wah lah)

Gentleness

 

An open hand tugs

Hearts like a new mother’s smile

Warm, full of nurture

 

Wöwachantognake

(woh wah chan to GNAH kay)

Generosity

 

The canyon is wide

For those who hold tight to things

Giving weaves a bridge

 

Wóohitika

(woh oh HEE tee kah)

Courage

 

The fools say claws don’t

Frighten, the courageous name

Fear, and step forward

 

Wöwachinthanka

(woh wah cheen TAHN kah)

Patience

 

Waiting, breathing, we

Give the universe a space

For unforced blessings