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Lakota Music and Dance



Catch-A-Song


Here you will find authentic Lakota music - composed and performed by the Lakota. I have used an MP3 compressed format to reduce the size of the files. I have installed yahoo! Web Player on this page, so you can view and select from the entire play list from the player by clicking on the arrow on the gray tab on the lower left side of the browser window. Scroll down to view the albums and songs to select a song to play by clicking on the arrow next to the title. I have included the song's lyrics in Lakota and English where possible. Enjoy! To purchase the CD, I have included the web address (URL) of an online source for your convenience.


Round Dance Song - "It's Been Days" - Butchie Eastman and Ray Eastman.


Traditional Lakota Songs


William Horncloud

This collection of seventeen traditional Lakota songs is by one of the great native singers of all time, William Horncloud, and includes honor songs, war songs, old Omaha dance songs, love songs and rabbit songs. Born in 1905, Horncloud learned songs reaching back into the 1800's and was instrumental for keeping Lakota culture alive.

Canyon Records     available from Canyon Records.


Honoring Song Sung by Charles Red Cloud 3:18 (434 KB) mp3
Omaha Dance Song   4:29 (590 KB) mp3
War Song   2:58 (389 KB) mp3
Love Song   4:52 (640 KB) mp3
Round Dance Song   4:32 (595 KB) mp3
Chief's Honoring Song Song sung by William Horncloud, Ben Sitting Up, and Frank Afraid of Horses 2:50 (372 KB) mp3



Songs From Porcupine   Honoring Irving Tail


The Porcupine Singers

"The current generation of Porcupine singers is proud to carry on a long-time tradition of traditional Lakota singing from the Porcupine District of the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. Thus, we have had singers in our families we can trace back to the 1860's. Since the 1960's, Porcupine Singers have travelled far beyond their home area to wherever their singing takes them.

Over the decades, members of the Porcupine Singers have composed songs that continue to be favorites of ours and are often sung by our fellow singing groups. Rather than guard our songs from being sung by others, we invite our fellow singers from all nations to feel free to sing our songs. We feel honored when they do! Thus we provide the texts and translations to share them.

The songs performed on this album were recorded at Porcupine, SD, during a New Years Celebration on December 31, 1996, and January 1, 1997. All the songs performed were composed by former or current members of our singing group.

With this album, we wish to honor one of our elder singers, Irving Tail, who has composed many powerful and beautiful songs to be enjoyed by all people!"


Current members:   Cedric Young Bear, Clyde Squirrel Coat, Brian Thunder Hawk, Tom Thunder Hawk, J.D. Goodhouse, Scott Means, Kristian Theisz, Ronnie Theisz, Melvin Young Bear, Calvin Jumping Bull, Severt Young Bear, Jr., Red Boy Means and Irving Tail.

Turtle Island Music     available from Matoska Trading Company.


"Thanks for making our music available for people to listen to. Enjoyed your website."

Melvin Young Bear
porcupine_singers@yahoo.com


Intertribal Song Ronnie Theisz, 1996 4:24 (579 KB) mp3
Song for Singer Ronnie Theisz/Tom Thunder Hawk/Calvin Jumping Bull, 1996 5:36 (736 KB) mp3

Mita kola, omakiya po, omakiya po. Hoka wicaša wan le miyelo. Oyate kin wacinmayapi ca oiyokipi ca blihemic'iyelo.
Hoka wicaša wan le miyelo. Oyate kin wacinmayapi ca oiyokipi kta ca blihemic'iyelo.

My friends, help me, help me! I am a singer. the people need me, so since there is going to be a celebration here, I take courage.
I am a singer. The people need me, so since there is going to be a celebration here, I take courage.

Intertribal Song Severt Young Bear, Sr, 1966 4:53 (643 KB) mp3
Grand Entry Song Drury Cook, 1964 5:50 (771 KB) mp3
Intertribal Song Drury Cook, 1969 6:19 (832 KB) mp3
Grass Dance Song Drury Cook, 1963 5:52 (773 KB) mp3
Intertribal - David's Song Melvin Young Bear, 1991 2:40 (353 KB) mp3
Rabbit Dance Song Irving Tail, 1996 4:41 (620 KB) mp3

Dearie, wauncina waki canna anpetu iyohila cante masice. Tohanl tiyata yaki kin wowapi cicu kte.

Dearie, we danced and when I got home, every day I was sad. Whenever you get home, I will write you a love letter.

Rabbit Dance Song Henry Young Bear, 1963 5:37 (740 KB) mp3

Dearie, wiconiye ota ye, wiconiye ota ye itokasniye. Wancala wiconiye tokšas iyecetu kte.

Dearie, there are many ways to live, there are many ways to live. Don't worry about it! It will certainly happen.

Pilamaya! to the announcer, John Around Him!

WW1 Veteran's Song - 4:17 (566 KB) mp3

Nake kola cemayaye, nake kola cemayaye, nake kola cemayaye, nake kola cemayaye, nake kola cemayaye.
Lakota ki toki ilale?  Nake kola cemayaye, nake kola cemayaye.

At last, friend, you have made me cry; at last, friend, you have made me cry; at last, friend, you have made me cry; at last, friend, you have made me cry; at last, friend, you have made me cry.
Lakotas, where have you gone?  At last, friend, yu have made me cry; at last, friend, you have made me cry.

Contest Song Severt Young Bear,Sr., 1974 3:12 (423 KB) mp3



Traditional Lakota Songs


The Porcupine Singers

"It has been the tradition of the Porcupine Singers to dedicate themselves to the preservation of the traditional customs and beliefs of the Lakota people, as well as all Native Americans.

Because of the important nature of these traditional songs, this is a very special recording - traditional songs should be treated with reverence and rendered only in the proper manner."

Recorded live at the Ring Thunder Wacipi (celebration arena) on the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota in 1977, this recording captures the Porcupine Singers' deep fondness for traditional Lakota songs.


Sung by:   Severt Young Bear, Sr., Henry Green Crow, David Clairmont, James Clairmont, Francis Menard, Ronnie Theisz, Calvin Jumping Bull, and Philip Wright.

Canyon Records     available from Canyon Records.


Lakota National Anthem (Flag Song) and Veterans' Song 5:10 (5.84 MB) mp3

Tunkašila tawapaha ki han oihankešni (he) nanjin kte lo.
iyoĥlateya oyate ki han wicocagin kte ca lecamun welo.

The President's flag will fly forever.
Under it, the people will grow; so I do this.


Veterans' Song. This song often follows the Flag Song at the raising or lowering of the U.S. flag.


Heyuha natanpe
Tunkašila yapi tawapaha ca
Heyuha natanpelo
Lakota hokšila (he) ohitika ca
Heyuha natanpe. Tunkašila yapi tawapaha ca.
Heyuha natanpelo

The are charging.
The U.S. flag, they are charging.
The Lakota warriors are brave.
They are charging, the U.S. flag, they are charging.

Little Big Horn Battle Song 4:30 (5.22 MB) mp3

A song made for the Battle of Little Big Horn (1876).

Kola tokile, kola tokile, kola ceyapelo.
Waziyata ki cizape.
Kola tokile, kola tokile, kola ceyapelo.

Friend, where are you?
Friend, they are crying.
They are fighting up north.
Friend, where are you?
Friend, they are crying.

Our Friends Came With The Soldiers 4:16 (4.98 MB) mp3

A song made for the Eastern Lakota who scouted for the U.S. calvary against the Western Lakota.

Wayankiye kola Lakotako natan hiye kola nita kola nape wayelo.

Behold, our friends came with the soldiers, so I chased my friend away.

Sneak-Up Dance 3:35 (4.14 MB) mp3

This is a Sneak-Up Dance for a warrior who was wounded in a battle: "One of the warriors was knocked off his horse and the others picked him up and are carrying him back."

Heyuha manipe.
Eca Lakota hokšila wašošeyape>
Heyuha manipe.

Our friends, they are walking with him.
In the middle of the battle they are
crying as they carry him back.

World War I Veterans' Song 4:01 (4.54 MB) mp3

This song exemplifies the patriotism of the Lakota.

Lakota hokšila iya šica tamakoce ki ota iyacuca ekta wicaceyahe.

The Lakota soldiers took the Germans' land so they are still crying.

The Jealous Woman 6:00 (7.07 MB) mp3

One of the Porcupine Singers' standard songs.

Iyuškinyan waunci yunkan winyanla ki nawizina išikcin amakinape.

We were having a good time dancing, so my little woman got jealous and took me out of the dance hall.

The Bark Of The Dog 2:30 (2.82 MB) mp3

The leader of a successful raiding party barks like a dog four times in advance of the returning party.

Šunka ho pelo.

The voice of the dog.

Song Of The Fallen Warrior 3:17 (3.67 MB) mp3

A memorial song made for One Feather.

Nita kola ake nicanpe Wiyaka Wanjila nita kola ake nicanpe.

They are fighting over your friend (he has fallen). Your friend, One Feather, they are fighting over him.

Birthday Song 4:45 (5.54 MB) mp3

A song of encouragement sung for a person having a birthday. The Lakota name of the person being honored is inserted at the beginning of the song.

[name] Blihic' iyayo nita kola ki ahihuni.
Blihic' iyayo mada sitomi oteĥikelo.

[name] take heart, your friends are coming saying this.
Take heart, there are hard times all over the land.

Song Of The Dancers - 4:46 (5.55 MB) mp3

This song expresses the sentiment of many dancers caught between their desire to follow the traditional ways and the pressures of the modern world.

Lakol wicoĥ an kin tohanl abluštan ki Oiokipi wani cin kte lo.
Waci wicaša heya yaun ca tamunka šni yelo.

Whenever I quit my Native ways, there will be no more happiness.
The dancers are saying this. It is difficult to take.



3 Legged Dawg


K-Dawg

K-Dawg, the new face of Native hip-hop

By Brandon Ecoffey

Native Sun News Staff Writer

PINE RIDGE — The difficulty of breaking into the music industry is often finding a niche or something new and unique that no other possesses. For underground Oglala Lakota rapper K-Dawg it is just about living his crazy life.

Possessing a sound that evokes memories of past and often overlooked classical hip-hop artists like Prodigy of Mobb Deep and the underappreciated Alchemist, K-Dawg of Pine Ridge is redefining Native American hip-hop.

“All these guys putting out music on the rez (reservation) get caught up trying to be something they are not,” said K-Dawg. “I am doing it the right way: I am not trying to be commercial, I produce real hip-hop for those who are real fans of the art,” he added.

With a display of lyrical mastery on tracks like “Crazy Life” and “The Living” and through his straight-from-the-rez image, K-Dawg is forcing hip-hop critics and fans alike to pay notice.

Born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation, K-Dawg has allowed the experiences he has had on the reservation to shape his music, often referring to locations on Pine Ridge by place names that only a lifelong resident of the reservation could know or understand.

Born Kyle Mesteth, the son of Perry and Susie Mesteth of Pine Ridge, K-Dawg has quickly developed a significant following across the Pine Ridge Reservation, which is somewhat surprising considering he is an independent artist who lacks the marketing power provided by established music labels.

“I know that I am not part of a major label just yet, but not being on a label has never prevented anyone from rapping,” said K-Dawg.

The rise from a small, relatively unknown hip-hop talent to a rich and famous artist is not uncommon, however, and is in fact a well-traveled path in the rap game. Artists like DMX – who gained notice by standing on street corners rapping – having risen to stardom from humble beginnings.

K-Dawg hopes with the release of his new album, “3 Legged Dawg,” which will be ready in the early spring of 2013, he can continue to establish himself in the world of Native American hip-hop and beyond.

“‘3 Legged Dawg’ is going to be real. It isn’t commercialized, it isn’t about being positive. It is just hip-hop in the purest sense, like me,” K-Dawg said.

He has had some national exposure, having appeared on Lisa Ling’s series “Our America” on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The series gained acclaim for the documentary it did on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“This is just the beginning; this is going to be a hip-hop revolution, with Pine Ridge being the center of it all,” he said.


"Conform or Die" - Edited and directed by K-Dawg. Filmed on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, January 2013.

Conform or Die   3:37 (3.31 MB) mp3




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