Wasichu (pronounced wa - see'- choo), is the name used by many Indians today to refer to white people. Like many words that are used across cultures, it is used differently by many people. Sometimes the word refers to someone with white skin, sometimes it refers to a person of any color who is greedy and selfish. Wasichu is one of those words (like squaw) that means many things to many people.

The word wasichu is a Lakota word meaning "he who takes the fat" or "fat eater". The word came to be used to denote a white person long ago when a starving trapper snuck into a Lakota camp one night. The indians were aware of his presence, and of his thievery, and in fact would have shared their food with him if he would have asked. Instead, they watched this strange pale skinned man steal large amounts of fat from the tribes' food stores night after night. From then on, people with white skin were known as wasichus. The word came to symbolize the relationship between the Indians who inhabited the land, and the early white settlers. The settlers tended to take the best of everything from the indians, caring little if enough was left for the survival of the tribe.

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