Inyan, also known as “Old Grandfather,” is a revered deity in the Lakota and Dakota cultures. He is considered a primordial earth god, and is revered for his creation of Maka, the Earth Goddess. Inyan symbolizes the traditional ways, justice, and the earth itself.
- Deity Title: “Old Grandfather.”
- Deity Level: Greater deity or primordial Deity
- Symbol: A smooth stone in a blue disk
- Alignment: Neutral Aliases: Iya (rock)
- Superior: None specified
- Allies: Earth Elementals, Stone Giants
- Foes: None specified
- Servants: None specified
- Servitor Creatures: Earth Elementals, Stone Giants
- Manifestations: Earthquakes, stones shifting or moving on their own
- Signs of Favor: Increased strength, stability, and a feeling of being rooted to the earth
- Worshipers: Stone Giants, dwarves, miners, geologists, and earth-based cultures
- Cleric Alignments : Neutral
- Specialty Priests: Earthpriests
- Holy Days: None specified
- Portfolio: Justice, earth, creation
- Domains: Earth, Justice, Creation, Strength
- Favored Weapon: Earth Breaker (maul)
- Duties of the Priesthood: To maintain the balance of the earth and its elements, to ensure justice and order is maintained within the earth, to protect and preserve the earth and its creatures.
- Major Temple Sites: Inyan is revered by many who live close to the earth and value the traditional ways of life. His followers often create stone structures in his honor, with the largest and most impressive of these being his major temple sites. Some of these sites include:
- The Mountain Temple: a towering structure built into a cliff face, dedicated to his role as the creator of the earth. The temple is carved directly into the rock, with intricate carvings depicting scenes from Inyan’s creation story.
- The Stone Circle: a circular arrangement of stones, large and small, that serves as a place of worship and meditation for Inyan’s followers. The circle symbolizes the endless cycle of life and the natural world.
- The Cavern of the Old Grandfather: a vast underground temple filled with intricate carvings and structures made entirely of stone. This site is dedicated to Inyan’s role as the ancient, wise figure who has watched over the earth for centuries.
- The Valley of the Blue Disk: a wide, open valley dotted with massive blue stones, each one representing a drop of Inyan’s blood that he used to create the earth. This site is a place of pilgrimage for those seeking the wisdom and power of Inyan.
- These major temple sites draw worshippers from far and wide, and are often the centers of the Inyan faith. They provide a place for followers to come together in reverence for the Old Grandfather and to seek his guidance and protection.
In the beginning of time, Inyan created Maka using all of his own blue blood, which formed a great disk. This act depleted Inyan of his power, causing him to fall into a deep sleep. He has since been considered a silent, sleeping force within the earth.
Inyan is depicted through his symbol, a smooth stone in a blue disk, which represents his sacrifice and connection to the earth. He is worshiped by Stone Giants and is considered to be the father of the trickster Iktomi.
Inyan is aligned with the forces of neutrality, and is not known to have any specific allies or foes. However, his followers believe that he embodies the principles of justice and is responsible for maintaining balance in the world.
The priesthood of Inyan is responsible for preserving and upholding the traditions of the earth and its people. They honor their deity through holy days and worship services, and by performing duties and rituals related to the earth and its cycles.
He is depicted as a massive stone statue or carved rock face, symbolizing his role as the father of the earth. He has a stern and unchanging expression, reflecting his status as a powerful primordial deity who has slept throughout the ages. Despite his rigid exterior, Inyan is often depicted with a blue disk surrounding him, a nod to his creation of the earth goddess Maka, who emerged from a disk made of his blue blood. In some depictions, Inyan is shown with two horns or protuberances, symbolizing his immense power and strength. Overall, his physical appearance represents his role as the embodiment of the earth, creation, and justice.
Inyan’s portfolio includes the domains of justice, earth, and creation. He is a powerful and revered deity, respected for his role in the creation of the world and his representation of the traditional ways.