The evolution of Lakota social and political structure from pre-contact through the present with maps of the Lakota Nation.
Traditional Lakota tales of the creation of the universe, the earth and the emergence of life and mankind within it.
Lakota traditional spiritual beliefs, rites and ceremonies, past and present
Traditional Lakota folk tales in English and Lakota.
A guide to the Lakota alphabet and pronunciation with streaming audio. An introduction to Lakota rules of grammar, verb lists and dictionaries (English & Deutsch).
Song structure of Plains music, historical diffusion of songs, dances and regalia on the Plains. Lakota songs to listen to and download.
Current events, national news clippings.
The full complete text of Treaties and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Šung'manitu-tanka, the Great Plains or Buffalo Wolf - The nation of wolves and their unique relationship with the Lakota.
Links to Native American sites on the World Wide Web.
Lakota Music and Dance
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Lakotas, where have you gone? At last, friend, yu have made me cry; at last, friend, you have
made me cry.
"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.
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, 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.