The true meaning of the word Heyoka is Thunder Dreamer.
Heyoka's come from the Wakinyans- Thunder Beings. Heyokas make people laugh and they shake things up. Because there is no English word for 'Heyoka', the translators mistakenly translated it to clown, but that is the furthest from the true meaning. Your first reaction to what Heyokas do and/or say may be to laugh, cry or get angry BUT if you think about it, they make you to think outside the box and get another view of things. Heyokas are very sacred in the Lakota culture. We treat them with respect and reverence. Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Lame Deer were Heyokas.