Roughly translated from Lakota Native American Indian means contrarian or sacred clown.
Heyoka, thought of as being upside-down, backward forward, contrary, says things like yes when he actually means no. They teach, philosophize and communicate backwards through nonsense, jokes satire and threats. *When it is baking hot during a heat wave, a Heyoka will shiver with cold and put on mittens and cover himself with a blanket. Build a big fire and complain that he is freezing to death. When it is subfreezing at 40 degrees below, he will wander around naked for hours complaining it�s too hot.
There was a clown called the straighten outner, he was always running around trying to flatten round and curvy things, making them straight, things like soup, dishes, eggs, rings or wagon wheels.
Heyoka portray and symbolize aspects of the sacred in a special way, a way in which their teachings get through to us without even thinking about them. Sacred clowns in their actions don�t seem to care about concepts and definitions taboos or boundaries, but paradoxically and simultaneously define the concepts at the root of societal guidelines for moral and ethical behavior, and the theories of balance and imbalance.
They are the ones who can ask why of dangerous subjects, and ask why of people who are specialists in advanced knowledge and positions of authority. They ask in their satire by fooling around. They ask the difficult questions and say things others would like to say but are too afraid to speak.
By reading between the lines, the audience is able to think about things not usually thought about or cause them to look at things in a different way.
*For people who are as poor as us, who have lost everything, who had to endure so much death and sadness, laughter is a precious gift. When we were dying like flies from white mans disease, when we were driven into reservations, when the government rations did not arrive and we were starving, watching the pranks and capers of heyoka were a blessing.
The Heyoka have many functions, like healing through laughter and opening people�s eyes to deeper meaning and underlying truth and first and probably foremost is to prepare the people with laughter for disaster
Thunderbird and Heyoka, the Sacred Clown
Transition from Fourth To Fifth World: The "Thunder Beings" Return By Richard Boylan, Ph.D.
Heyoka's Guide to Earthly Living
Become Nourished by the Great Mother and Gain Nothing
HEYOKA FOOTPRINTS UPON THE RED AND WHITE ROADS Wes
The Heyoka Living Life Backwards