Ceremonial songs in the Lakota language

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Welcome to the Song page

We are currently teaching many songs in the Lakota language to support Ceremonies such as the Sundance, Yuwipi/Lowanpi, Inipi (Sweat Lodge), and Ghost Dance. Ongoing Ceremonial Song Classes and other events are all listed on our Calendar of events. There is a strong need for more singers so we encourage anyone interested to join us. Lyrics to other songs are also at the bottom of the page.

The Singing Stone would like to invite you to our Song Classes. Our song Classes are in the Lakota language and take place most every Saturday 3-5 p.m.in Crestone, Colorado.  conjurespirits@gmail.com . We look forward to singing together. Aho Mitakuye Oyasin!

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 Sweat Lodge Stone song

 Spotted Eagle song

Miye toka heya anpetu owakinyelo

Wanbli gleska wan heyaya u welo

Miye toka heya anpetu owakinyelo

As the sun rises, I am first to fly

A spotted eagle is coming saying this

As the sun rises, Iam first to fly

 Animal calling song

Tuwa tokiya kola wayelo. Tuwa tokiya kola wayelo,

Wankantanhan wanbli gleska oyate wan, Kola wica wayelo, sitomniyan wanmayank u ye.

Tuwa tokiya kola wayelo. Tuwa tokiya kola wayelo.

Makata sinte sapela oyate wan, Kola wica wayelo, sitomniyan wanmayank u ye.

Tuwa tokiya kola wayelo. Tuwa tokiya kola wayelo.

Wankantanhan wahe oyate wan, Kola wica wayelo, sitomniyan wanmayank u ye

Somewhere, someone is my friend. Somewhere, someone is my friend.

From above, a spotted eagle nation, do not doubt his power, he is my friend, Everyone behold! He comes to see me.

Somewhere, someone is my friend. Somewhere, someone is my friend.

From the earth, a black tailed deer nation, do not doubt his power, he is my friend, Everyone behold! He comes to see me.

Somewhere, someone is my friend. Somewhere, someone is my friend.

From above, a mole nation, do not doubt his power, he is my friend, Everyone behold! He comes to see me.

 Black Tail Deer Song 2

Maka kic’un pi, maka kic’un pi, sinte sapela maka kic’in pi,

tuwa eheha wayelo, Maka kic’un pi, sinte sapela maka kic’un pi, tuwa eheha wayelo

They wear their earth, they wear their earth, black tail deer wear their earth.

Someone I have made say they wear their earth, black tail deer wear their earth.

 Spider song

Maka sitomniyan, okiya wau yelo, Iktomi wan heyaya uwelo, Miye mawakan yelo.

Maka sitomniyan, okiya wau yelo, Iktomi wan heyaya uwelo, Miye mawakan yelo.

All over this world I come to help, a spider says these things as he comes, Me, I am sacred.

All over this world I come to help, a spider says these things as he comes, Me, I am sacred.

 Prayer song

Tunkasila Wakan Tanka heya hoye wayelo, Tunkasila Wakan Tanka heya hoye wayelo.

 Tunkasila omakiyayo makakijelo.

Grandfather, Great Spirit, a voice I am sending, Grandfather, Great Spirit, a voice I am sending.

Grandfather, help me for I am suffering.

 Kettle dog song

leceya sunka wan yuta pe, leceya sunka wan yuta pelo, wiohpeyata wakinyan oyate wan

sunka wan yutape wakan yutapelo

 Stone Calling Song

Hoyemakiyayo cemakiyayo, Taku ya chinkia iyece tu ktelo, Tunkan sabicya eya ce hoye wakiyelo.

Cemakiyayo hoyemakiyayo, Taku ya chinkia iyece tu ktelo, Tunkan sabicya eya ce hoye wakiyelo.

Send a voice to me, pray to me, What you want will be given to you, A blackened stone, you have said, So a voice I send to you.

Pray to me, send a voice to me, What you want will be given to you, A blackened stone, you have said, So a voice I send to you.

This is The Singing Stone’s Yuwipi set in the order that they are sung.

1. Pipe Filling Song

Kola lecelecun wo, Kola lecelecun wo, Kola lecelecun wo.

Hecanuki nitunkasila waniyang u ktelo.

Canunpa wanji yuha ilatake ci.

Miksuya opagi yo.

Hecanuki taku yacinki iyecetu ktelo.

 Kola lecelecun wo, Kola lecelecun wo, Kola lecelecun wo.

Hecanuki nitunkasila waniyang u ktelo.

Hocoka wanji yuha ilotake ci.

Miksuya opagi yo.

Hecanuki taku yacinki iyecetu ktelo.

English

My friend do it like this, My friend do it like, this My friend do it like this.

When you do it this way the Grandfathers will come down to see you.

With this one Sacred Pipe sit down.

Remember as you fill the pipe.

When you do it this way what you want will happen.

My friend do it like this, My friend do it like this, My friend do it like this.

When you do it this way the Grandfathers will come down to see you.

In this one Sacred Circle sit down.

Remember as you fill your pipe.

When you do it this way what you want will happen.

Español

Mi amigo haslo asi, mi amigo haslo asi, mi amigo haslo asi

Cuando se hace haci los abuelos bajan a verte

Con esta pipa sagrada siéntate

Recuerda que cuando llenas tu pipa

Cuando lo haces haci, lo que quieres sucede

Mi amigo haslo asi, mi amigo haslo asi, mi amigo haslo asi

Cuando se hace así, los abuelos bajan a verte

Con esta pipa sagrada siéntate

Recuerda que cuando llenas tu pipa

Cuando lo haces haci, lo que quieres sucede

2. Song To Tie

 Anpetu ki le mitawa yelo, Anpetu ki le mitawa yelo,

 Anpetu ki le mitawa yelo ,Anpetu ki le mitawa yelo.

English

This day belongs to me, This day belongs to me,

This day belongs to me, This day belongs to me.

Espanol

Este dia me pertenece, este dia me pertenece

Este dia me pertenece, este dia me pertenece

3. Yuwipi Altar song Is learned in person and should never be sung outside of ceremony.

4. Stone Song 1

Wakan oyate wan waniyang u ktelo, Wayankaya yo.

English

A sacred nation is appearing, Come and see.

Espanol

Una nación sagrada se levanta ven a ver.

5. Stone Song 2

Wankata peta wanlakelo, Henake tunkan pica wanlakelo.

Wankata peta wanlakelo, Henake tunkan pica wanlakelo.

English

Up above you have seen a spark, They are stones that you have seen.

Up above you have seen a spark, They are stones that you have seen.

Espanol

Arriba alto, has visto una chispa, Hay piedras que has visto

Arriba alto, has visto una chispa, Hay piedras que has visto

6. Black Tail Deer Song

Le miye ca tanin ya nawajin yelo, Le miye ca tanin ya nawajin yelo,

Sinte sapela le miye ca tanin ye nawajin yelo.

Le miye ca tanin ya nawajin yelo,

Sinte sapela le miye ca tanin ye nawajin yelo.

English

This is me visible I am standing, This is me visible I am standing,

The black tail deer, visible I am standing.

This is me visible I am standing,

The black tail deer, visible I am standing.

Espanol

Este soy yo, visible, aquí de pie. Este soy yo, visible, aquí  de pie.

Venado de cola negra, visible ante ti estoy de pie.

Este soy yo, visible aquí de pie

Venado de cola negra, visible ante ti estoy de pie.

7. Mole Song

Maka takiya taku wakan wan u welo, Maka takiya taku wakan wan u welo.

Wahehela wan u welo, Wani yanku yelo.

Taku wakan wan echela, Wana u welo, Wana e yelo, Wani yanku welo.

English

From the earth something sacred is coming, From the earth something sacred is coming.

A mole is coming, It is coming to see you.

There is nothing not sacred, He is coming, He is here, It is coming to see you.

Espanol

Desde la tierra algo sagrado viene. Desde la tierra algo sagrado viene

Un topo viene., viene a verte.

No hay nada, que no sea sagrado, el viene, el esta aqui, viene a verte.

8. Bat Song

Hanhepi ki mita wayelo wayankiye yo, Hupakiglake wan heya u welo.

English

The night belongs to me  look this way, A bat has come, saying this.

Espanol

La noche me pertenece mira hacia aca,  Un murciélago ha venido diciendo esto.

9. Prayer Song

Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye.

Makasitomniyan hoye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye, Iwayeci namah’un ye.

English

Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say

All over the world a voice I send, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say, Hear what I have to say.

Espanol

Escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir

En todo el mundo una voz  envío, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir, escucha lo que tengo que decir.

10. Doctoring Song

Wanktahan wau welo, Wanktahan wau welo,Wanktahan wau welo,

Wicatancan piya ,wakaginkta ca wau welo, Wanktahan wau welo.

English

Up above I am coming, Up above I am coming, Up above I am coming.

A body I am going to make well, so I am coming, Up above I am coming.

Espanol

Desde arriba yo vengo, Desde arriba yo vengo, Desde arriba yo vengo,

Un cuerpo voy a hacer bien, haci yo vengo, Desde arriba yo vengo.

11. Aurora Borealis Song

Makpiya tahin ki le miyelo, Makpiya tahin ki le miyelo

Wamayankiyo, inyan wasicun ca nape wayelo.

Makpiya tahin ki le miyelo,

Wamayankiyo, inyan wasicun ca nape wayelo.

English

The aurora borealis this is me, The aurora borealis this is me

Behold the power stone of a dreamer is my healing hand.

The aurora borealis this is me,

Behold the power stone of a dreamer is my healing hand.

Espanol

La aurora borealis, este soy yo, La aurora borealis, este soy yo

Siente la poderosa piedra de un sonador, es la mano sanadora

La aurora borealis, este soy yo

Siente la poderosa piedra de un sonador, es la mano sanadora

12. Stone Doctoring Song

Ilelea tipi ghi le camu welo, Ilelea tipi ghi le camu welo, Ilelea tipi ghi le camu welo, Ilelea tipi ghi le camu welo.

Tunkan tatioblecha wan, Ilelea tipi ghi le camu welo, Ilelea tip i ghi le camu welo, Ilelea tipi ghi le camu welo.

English

Within glittering sparks, I have done this, Within glittering sparks, I have done this, Within glittering sparks, I have done this, Within glittering sparks, I have done this.

The lodge of the stones, Within glittering sparks, I have done this, Within glittering sparks, I have done this, Within glittering sparks, I have done this.

Dentro de las  chispas brilladoras yo hice esto, Dentro de las chispas brilladoras, yo hice esto, Dentro de las chispas brilladoras, yo hice esto, Dentro de las chispas brilladoras, yo hice esto.

El temascal de piedras, Dentro de las chispas brilladoras, yo hice esto, Dentro de las chispas brilladoras, yo hice esto.

13. Medicine Song

Pejuta wan cicu ktaca wayankiyeyo.

English

A medicine I am going to give you, look this way.

Espanol

Una medicina te voy a dar, mira hacia aca.

14. Spider Song

Wankata hot anin kun le miye wamayankiyo ewaye namah’un yelo

Wankata hot anin kun le miye wamayankiyo ewaye namah’un yelo

Wankata hot anin kun le miye wamayankiyo ewaye namah’un yelo

Wankata hot anin kun le miye wamayankiyo ewaye namah’un yelo

English

Up above my voice is heard, behold me, so listen to me.

Up above my voice is heard, behold me, so listen to me.

Up above my voice is heard, behold me, so listen to me.

Up above my voice is heard, behold me, so listen to me.

Espanol

Desde lo alto mi voz se escucha, recibe la escuchame.

Desde lo alto mi voz se escucha, recibe la escuchame.

  • Desde lo alto mi voz se escucha, recibela escuchame.

Desde lo alto mi voz se escucha, recibe la  escuchame.

15. Spider Song 2

Iktomni wan tahia mani u welo, tahia u welo tahia mani u welo, Iktomni wan tahia mani u welo.

Tahia u welo tahia mani u welo, Iktomni wan tahia mani u welo.

English

A spider comes walking, He comes walking, he comes walking,              A spider comes walking.

He comes walking, he comes walking, A spider comes walking.

Espanol

Una araña viene caminando, el viene caminando, el viene caminando.

Una araña viene caminando.

el viene caminando, el viene caminando Una arana viene caminando.

16. Thunder Being Song 1

Leciya ya tuwa maki pan pelo, Leciya ya tuwa maki pan pelo, Wiohpeyata wakinyan oyate wan, Kola maki pan pelo

Leciya ya tuwa maki pan pelo, Wiohpeyata wakinyan oyate wan, Kola maki pan pelo.

English

Over here they are calling for me, Over here they are calling for me, To the west a thunder being nation., My friends are calling for me.

Over here they are calling for me, To the west a thunder being nation, My friends are calling for me.

Espanol

Por aqui estan llamando por mi, Por aqui estan llamando por mi, Desde el oeste una nación de seres relámpago, Mis amigos llaman por mi.

Por aqui estan llamando por mi,  Desde el oeste una nación de seres relámpago Mis amigos llaman por mi.

17. Thunder Being Song 2

Oyate hanta po itateya mawani yelo, Oyate hanta po itateya mawani yelo, Oyate hanta po itateya mawani yelo.

Tehi ya wamiconza pe, Oyate hanta po itateya mawani yelo, Oyate hanta po itateya mawani yelo.

English

People move aside, I walk in the wind, People move aside, I walk in the wind, People move aside, I walk in the wind.

A difficult time is predicted for me, People move aside, I walk in the wind, People move aside, I walk in the wind.

Espanol

Gente muévase  hacia el lado, yo camino en el viento, Gente muévase hacia el lado, yo camino en el viento, Gente muerase hacia el lado, yo camino en el viento.

Un tiempo difícil  esta predecido para mi, Gente muévase hacia el lado, yo camino en el viento, Gente muerase hacia el lado, yo camino en el viento.

18. Thunder Being Song 3

Leciya ya tokeya mawani yelo, Leciya ya tokeya mawani yelo, Leciya ya tokeya mawani yelo

He wamakaskan wanji gyi Cante eiyapa wayelo, Leciya ya tokeya mawani yelo.

English

Over here I walk first, Over here I walk first, Over here I walk first.

I make some animals’ hearts beat, Over here I walk first.

Espanol

Por aqui yo camino primero, Por aqui yo camino primero, Por aqui yo camino primero.   

 Yo hago que  lata  el corazón  de algunos animales, Por aqui yo camino primero.

19. Thunder Being Song 4

Wankata taku wakan ke he wanla ke, Wankata taku wakan ke he wanla ke lowan, Makasitomniya kola ceyakiya pelo wan, Wankata taku wakan ke he wanla ke lo .

English

Up above something sacred you have seen, Up above something sacred you have seen, All around the world you have prayed to him, Up above something sacred you have seen.

Espanol

En lo alto algo sagrado has visto, En lo alto algo sagrado has visto,

En todo el mundo has rezado por él, En lo alto algo sagrado has visto.

20. Calling Song

Tunkasila wamayank uye, Tunkasila wamayank uyeyo, Tunkasila wamayank uyeyo

Ikce wicasa ta canunpa wan Yuha hoye wayelo

Mitakuye ob wani ktelo, Heyaya hoye wayelo.

English

Grandfather come and see me, Grandfather come and see me, Grandfather come and see me.

With the common people’s pipe I send a voice

So I may live with my relatives, I keep sending a voice.

Espanol

Abuelo ven a verme, abuelo ven a verme, abuelo ven a verme.

Con la pipa del pueblo, Yo mando una voz.

Par así  vivir con todas mis relaciones, Yo sigo mandando una voz.

21. Sone Song 3

Hot anin ye, Hot anin ye, Wankata hot anin ye, Hot anin ye, Wankata hot anin ye, Hot anin yelo

Wankata inyan wan, Hot anin ye, Hot anin ye, Wankata hot anin ye, Hot anin yelo.

English

Voices are heard, voices are heard, Up above voices are heard, voices are heard, Up above voices are heard, voices are heard.

Up above a stone, voices are heard, voices are heard, Up above voices are heard, voices are heard.

Espanol

Voces se escuchan, voces se escuchan, desde lo alto se escuchan voces, voces se escuchan, desde lo alto se escuchan voces, voces se escuchan

por encima de una piedra

22. Spider Untying Song (1)

Cokata wankan y mica kta ca, Cokata eya ya nawajin yelo, Kola ehek’un lecun we yelo, Kola ehek’un lecun we yelo.

English

He is preparing a sacred center for me, I am standing in the center sending a voice, My friend, you have said this, do it this way, My friend, you have said this, do it this way.

Espanol

El prepara un centro sagrado para mi, Estoy parado en el centro mandando una voz, Mi amigo, tu has dicho esto, hazlo de esta forma, Mi amigo, tu has dicho esto, hazlo de esta forma.

23. Dancing Song

Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo, Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo, Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo.

Inyan wasicun ca ,waci yau welo wayankiyeyo, Waci yau welo wayankiyeyo.

English

Take a look as I come dancing, Take a look as I come dancing, Take a look as I come dancing.

The white stone spirits, take a look as I come dancing, Take a look as I come dancing.

Espanol

Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando, Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando, Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando,

Los espíritus  de piedra blanca, ven a mirar, que vengo bailando, Ven a mirar, que vengo bailando.

24. Pipe Offering Song

Wayankiye, wayankiye, wayankiye, Canunpa kile wakan yelo wayankiye.

Wayankiye, wayankiye, Canunpa kile wakan yelo wayankiye.

English

Take a look, Take a look, Take a look,This pipe is sacred. Take a look.

Take a look, Take a look, This pipe is sacred. Take a look.

Espanol

Toma una vista, Toma una vista, Toma una vista, Esta pipa es sagrada, Toma una vista, Toma una vista, Toma una vista,  Esta pipa es sagrada.

25. Offering Song

Lenake, wayang u yelo, Lenake hiyo uye

Waunye ki lena hoye miciciyiyo He mitakuye ob wani wacin yelo, Tunkasila omakiyayo.

Canli pahta ki lena hoye miciciyiyo, He mitakuye ob zaniya waon wacin yelo Tunkasila omakiyayo.

English

Look, all of these I have given you, Come take what I have offered you

With this cloth I have pledged myself to you, With my relatives I want to live, Grandfather help me.

With these tobacco ties I have pledged myself to you, With my relatives in good health I will live, Grandfather, help me.

Espanol

Mira todo esto que te e dado, Ven a coger lo que te e ofrecido

Con esta manta me ofresco hacia ti, Con mis relativos quiero vivir, Abuelo ayudame

Con estos amarres de tabacco me ofresco hacia ti . Con mis relativos en buena salud voy vivir, abuelo ayudame

26. Offering Song 2

Hoye yayo, hoye yayo, Hoye yayo, hoye yayo, Tunkasila le ampelo.

Ikce wicasa ta canunpi ki leyuha, Hoye yayo, hoye yayo, Tunkasila le ampelo.

English

Sending a voice, sending a voice, Sending a voice, sending a voice, Grandfather on this day.

A common man is holding this pipe, Sending a voice, sending a voice, Grandfather on this day.

Espanol

Mandando una voz, Mandando una voz, Mandando una voz, Mandando una voz, Abuelo en este día

Un hombre común  aguanta una pipa, Mandando una voz, Mandando una voz, Abuelo en este dia

 

27. Closing Song 1

Tunkan unsi unlapi yelo, Tunkan unsi unlapi yelo, He mitakuye ob wani kta ca, Lena cicu welo.

English

Stone spirits have pity on us, Stone spirits have pity on us, With my relatives I will live, So I give you these offerings

Espanol

Espíritus  de piedra ten piedad de nosotros, Espíritus de piedra ten piedad de nosotros, Con toda relaciones yoy a vivir haci te ofresco todo esto

28. Closing Song 2

Hot aninyan kin najin pelo, Hot aninyan kin najin pelo, Tunkasila ta wokonze ca, Lena cicu welo. Hot aninyan kin najin pelo.

English

As we leave our voices are heard, As we leave our voices are heard, It is Grandfather’s will, That I give you these offerings. As we leave our voices are heard.

Espanol

Mientras partimos, nuestras voces se escuchan, Mientras partimos,nuestras voces se escuchan, Es la voluntad de el Abuelo, Que te doy estas ofrendas, Mientras partimos, nuestras voces se escuchan.

 29. Ending Song

Kola, lena cicu welo wayankiyelo, Kola, lena cicu welo wayankiyelo.

Anpetu okihica cicu welo, Kola lena cicu welo wayankiyelo.

English

My friend, I have given you these. Behold them, My friend, I have given you these. Behold them.

The day has made it possible to give you these offerings, My friend, I have given you these. Behold them.

Espanol

Mi amigo te e dado esto, recibelo, Mi amigo te e dado esto, recibelo

El dia ha hecho  posible poder darte estas ofrendas, Mi amigo te e dado esto, recibelo

click here for a lyrics download (Microsoft word)

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Ceremonial songs in the Lakota language and lakota sweat lodge song lyrics

Important Details
When singing this style of song, be sure to pay close attention to the drumbeat. It is either a fast steady beat or a slow thunder beat, like a heartbeat. Some of these songs are hard to play without the right beat. When singing along it is helpful to tap along with the drum. Another point of consideration is distinguishing between vocables and lyrics. Vocables are sounds and are not written among the lyrics. Usually the syllable and melody of the vocables match the lyrical part of the song. Usually the song begins with vocables. Very rarely are the vocables after the words.

When singing alone or without accompaniment you would sing the songs the way they are written. When singing with others you would use a call and response. That is when the song leader calls out the first line of the song; the group would then repeat that line. Some of these recordings have a call and response although they are written without it. As a rule of thumb with the call and response the group joins in just before the leader sings the vocable sound He. This sound is found at the end of some of the sentences He.

Other things to consider in singing these songs

Some of these songs are specific to particular lineages. In that case only one or two words may be different from one tiospaye to another. Most of these songs are general and are sung by many groups and at different ceremonies. An animal calling song is for calling in the power of specific animals. A stone song is for calling in the powers of stones. Be sure you are not calling things unnecessarily.

These songs are very powerful and not to be idly whistled or sung in the shower. Put down a pinch of tobacco as an offering first. This can be placed in a special spot, it can be rubbed or sprinkled upon the drum. A little water is good for the spirit of the drum, but before singing songs always put down tobacco. It is important not to “cry wolf” with the spirits. If these songs are sung idly too much the Spirits may stop responding.

By learning songs from a C.D. or computer they may attract lesser nearby spirits. They may not have the same impact until they are sung along within a genuine tradition. The more powerful spirits follow an oral line of association that is lost without actual contact with lineage holders. By singing and learning these songs here the spirits may eventually draw you into the ceremonies and traditions that use them.

Do not sing any thunder being songs at night out of context. This will attract ghosts, it could be very dangerous. Thunder being songs call thunder beings during the day and ghosts at night. Honestly, one should never really sing any kind of song carelessly outside at night. In the event of attracting ghosts sing the “Sending the Spirits Home” closing song. It is good to know that song to send spirits back home, especially when it is helpful to them. Thunder being songs include any heyoka or kettle songs. The dog song should only be sung at the Kettle Dance unless practicing.

Healing songs are for doctoring people. The songs themselves are a healing medicine. They can be sung in sweat lodge, Yuwipi, or on their own as a treatment. Canupa songs (pipe songs) should generally be sung when the pipe is present. If you carry a canupa it is O.K. to sing those songs whenever but always give a tobacco offering to the drum, especially when rehearsing. Pipe filling songs should only be sung while loading the pipe facing west. Again it is alright in the process of learning to sing the pipe filling songs, having offered tobacco to the drum and ending your lessons with the “Sending the Spirits Home” closing song.
There are various different closing songs when reaching near the end of a ceremony. For instance, in the fourth round of the sweat lodge one might sing a closing offering song. Be sure to check with your leaders about this as they vary from tradition to tradition. Some of our closing songs may not be used by other lineages to close. It all depends on what the spirit helpers of a tradition are used to. When visiting a sweat lodge you know little about it would be safest to not lead any closing songs at all.

There are a handful of songs not available here that are too specific. These are the opening Yuwipi/Lowanpi songs for calling in the directional spirits. They vary from ceremony to ceremony and from one medicine man to another. To get these songs you will have to learn them in ceremony. That is the only time those songs are ever sung. By learning all of these songs on our site we will become a Lowan Wicasa (song man) or a Lowan Winyan (song woman). Although not a prerequisite to being a medicine man or woman in the Lakota tradition you would have to be crazy to even attempt to embark on that path without most of these songs. Singers are integral to these ways, anyone knowing all of these songs are needed and honored regardless of race, creed, or color. If you put yourself out there you could travel the world over with expenses paid just singing at ceremonial events.

Sundance coyote song

kola lemiyeca he wau welo, kola lemiyeca he wau welo,

wama yanka yo wau welo, anpe wi ki iyoh’late he

ociciya kinte ca he wau welo, wama yanka yo wau welo wau welo,

kola lemiyeca he wau welo, kola lemiyeca he wau welo,

wama yanka yo wau welo, hanhe wi ki iyoh’late he

ociciya kinte ca he wau welo, wama yanka yo wau welo wau welo.

My friend, this is me that is coming, My friend, this is me that is coming

Look at me, I am coming, Under the sun, I have something to say

I have something to tell you, that is why, Look at me, I am coming

My friend, this is me that is coming, My friend, this is me that is coming

Look at me, I am coming, Under the moon, I have something to say

I have something to tell you, that is why, Look at me, I am coming

Stone Song 

Makasitomniyan hoye wayelo, Makasitomniyan hoye wayelo.

Tunkasila wamayanguye, Makasitomniyan hoye wayelo.

All around the earth I am sending a voice, All around the earth I am sending a voice.

Grandfather hear me, All around the earth I am sending a voice.

Pipe Song

Maka cokayan canunpa wan ahi unpahpelo wayankiyeyo,Hecaya uha hoye wayelo.

Thank you Song

Wakan tanka tunkasila, Wakan tanka tunkasila, Pilamaya yelo, Canunpa wakan ca mayaku welo, Pilamaya yelo, Wicozani wa mayaku welo, Pilamayaye pilamaya yelo.

Canunpa wakan ca mayaku welo, Pilamaya yelo, Wicozani wa mayaku welo, Pilamayaye pilamaya yelo.

Great Spirit, grandfather, Great Spirit, grandfather, I thank you, You have given me a sacred canunpa, Thank you, You have given me a good healing, Thank you, thank you.

You have given me a sacred canunpa, Thank you, You have given me a good healing, Thank you, thank you.

Heyoka Thunder Being Song:

Makpiya mimemeya canku yape, Makpiya mimemeya canku yapelo, Henake akicita pica winyan wakan a canku yapelo.

Makpiya mimemeya canku yape, Henake akicita pica taku wakan a canku yapelo.

Clouds circling is their road, Clouds circling is their road, They are warriors, upon a road around a sacred woman.

Clouds circling is their road, They are warriors, upon a road around a sacred thing.

Hanbleceya Song 1

Tekiya wahi najin yelo, Tekiya wahi najin yelo, kola wamayankiyo.

Tekiya wahi najin yelo kola wamayankiyo.

Wiohpeyata kiya hoye wayelo kola wamayankiyo, Tekiya wahi najin yelo kola wamayankiyo

With difficulity I am standing, With difficulty I am standing, friend take a look at me.

With difficulty I am standing, friend take a look at me.

A voice I have sent to the West, friend take a look at me.

With difficulty I am standing, friend take a look at me.

Prayer Song

Makpia tipiwa ogna micagelo helo, Tunkashila ehapikun lecanu we

A dwelling in the clouds, he has made for me, Grandfather you have said and done this.

Ghost Nation Song

Tuwa tokiya kola lowanpelo, Tuwa tokiya kola lowanpelo, Tuwa tokiya kola lowanpelo.

Anpo hinapeki itokabya tuwa Lowanpe hena ehapi ca, Kola lowanpelo.

Somewhere my friends they are singing, Somewhere my friends they are singing, Somewhere my friends they are singing

They have said this, My friends they are singing

Prayer Song

Hoksila wamayankayo, hoksila wamayankayo, Miyohan wan wakanca wanji koyag Cinktelo, anpe wikiheyaca kola wayelo.

Child, take a look at me, child take a look at me, My power I have made you wear in a sacred manner ,The sun has said this, so I am his friend.

Doctoring Song

Ga glinajin miye, Ga glinajin miye, Winyan ta canupi ki, ga glinajin miye, Ga glinajin miye.

Winyan ta canupi ki ga glinajin miye, Ga glinajin miye.

Ga glinajin miye Ikce wicasa ta canupi ki ga glinajin miye, Ga glinajin miye.

Ikce wicasa ta canupi ki ga glinajin miye, Ga glinajin miye.

It has made me stand before it, It has made me stand before it.

a woman’s pipe had made me stand before it, It has made me stand before it.

A woman’s pipe has made me stand before it, It has made me stand before it It has made me stand before it.

The common man’s pipe has made me stand before it, It has made me stand before it.

The common man’s pipe has made me stand before it, It has made me stand before it.

Prayer Song

Wankantanka unsimala yo, He makakijelo, Canupa kile he uha hoye wayelo

Wankantanka unsimalayo, He makakijelo, Canupa kile he uha hoye wayelo

Great Spirit have pity on me, For I am suffering, This pipe I have prayed with

Great Spirit have pity on me, For I am suffering, This pipe I have prayed with

Stone Song

Inyan wan hinajin wayanka piye

Before you a stone I have made appear. Come and see.

Black Tail Deer Song
Maka kic’un pi, maka kic’un pi, sinte sapela maka kic’in pi,

tuwa eheha wayelo, Maka kic’un pi, sinte sapela maka kic’un pi, tuwa eheha wayelo

They wear their earth, they wear their earth, black tail deer wear their earth

Someone I have made say they wear their earth, black tail deer wear their earth

Stone Song

Hokaowin u welo, Hokaowin u welo, Inyanwan wakan yankina, wana Hokaowin u welo

Hokaowin u welo wakanyan u welo

It is coming around, It is coming around, A stone in a sacred manner, Now it is coming around

In a sacred manner it is coming.

Doctoring Song

Inajin yo he waniyankinte,Tunkashila he waniyankintelo, Inajin yo he waniyankintelo.

Inajin yo he waniyankinte, Tunkashila he waniyankintelo, Inajin yo he waniyankintelo.

Stand up, he is going to take a look at you, Grandfather is going to take a look at you, Stand up, he is going to take a look at you.

Stand up, he is going to take a look at you, Grandfather is going to take a look at you, Stand up, he is going to take a look at you.

 

Hanbleceya song

kola kawinga yo ehapelo, kola kawinga yo ehapelo, kola kawinga yo ehapelo. wiohpeyata inawajina ahitun nawajin yelo, kola kawinga yo ehapelo.

my friend turn around you have said,my friend turn around you have said, my friend turn around you have said.to the west I stand looking toward you, my friend turn around you have said.

Yuwipi/Lowanpi

Yuwipi\Lowanpi

        We believe in the night sing, the power of inyan, the stone, the miraculous healing power of the ancestors and the sacred songs.  We believe in the Wiwila, little people, animal spirits, and the various other Tunkasila (spirits). We believe in the emptiness of the Medicine Man as a hollow bone for the spirits’ work.

The Night Sing, or Lowanpi, is probably the most fascinating rite in the western hemisphere. Anthropologists believe that it has its origins in Siberia and that it spread from there to many places throughout the world. It is believed to have been practiced in Nepal and northern China thousands of years ago.  There are ancient traces of it among the Laplanders’, The Mongols, The Icelandic peoples’ and in Amazonia.

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In the 1950′s it is said to have died out in Siberia but it has made a recent come back from North America. Versions of the Yuwipi/Lowanpi have long been practiced by tribes of the Northern and Eastern United states. The Tent Shaking rite among the Ojibwa were well documented in the 1800s, as well as the various plains tribes.                      

When the Medicine Man is tied and bound it is known as a Yuwipi rather than Lowanpi. It is this act of tying, untying, the frame drum, as well as the general events of the ceremony are what allowed Anthropologists to trace the yuwipi to Siberia and beyond. The Canli Pahta, or prayer ties are a purely Lakota element in this beautiful practice.

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Recently, people say things like “these ceremonies came about when our people had to hide their spiritual practices”. These views are inconsistent with Anthropological and Archaeological facts as the Yuwipi is thought of as the Neanderthal’s primary religion. There is no question that the Yuwipi/Lowanpi was never one of the Seven Sacred Rites of the White Buffalo Calf Woman. This suggests that the Prayer Ties and the use of the Sacred Pipe were, at some point, added to the Yuwipi. Similarly  songs as well as other elements have come from the Yuwipi/Lowanpi and entered into the Sundance.

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 These ways may have come from Siberia ,but the reverse may be the case just as well, especially in the case with mastodon hunters who followed the herds. It is believed that the yuwipi, the ceremony that truly defines Shamanism, moved with the migration of the mastodon. The Lakota primarily hunted Mastodon before the buffalo, as did various other tribes.

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The healing that occurs in these ceremonies  may not be accompanied by any tactile sensations. This does not affect the power of the healing.  The most difficult manifestation seems to be for the spirits to make sound. Auditory experiences seem to occur less (the singing or speaking of spirits) than tactile ones. There are no real generalizations though, it is up to the Spirits alone, next it is up to the Medicine Man’s relationship with those beings and last but not least the faith of the participants. It is strange to see the (new-age) shamanic drumming sessions that are so popular now. This practice is directly mimicking the ancient ways without any of the outward manifestations (or initiation  that are usual to these ceremonies. It is Interesting to note that certain individuals are born with, or acquire the ability to create situations characteristic to Yuwipi.

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Daniel Dunglas Home and Carlos Mirabelli are two individuals known to have brought about such situations. first thing one could experience in a Yuwipi or Lowanpi is levitation and movement the rattles and various other objects. Next would be flickering lights, rain, hail, wind and other similar sensations. The third type of manifestation one could expect is the touch of a spirit’s hand, the touch of an animal, Little person, or other such being’s touch.

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The Yuwipi ritual may be held for very specific purposes.  Among them are healings, finding lost or stolen objects, and finding solutions to problems.   It is part of a trinity of rights, Yuwipi, Sweat lodge and Vision Quest.  After performing a sweat lodge the right begins in a room in which all lights can be extinguished.  The leader or Yuwipi man is bound within a quilt and laid face down in the center of the room, (Yuwipi means they tie him up).  The room is plunged into total darkness as the lead singer begins to drum and sing with great enthusiasm.  In the darkness the spirits play the rattles and untie the leader.  The lights are turned on and the Yuwipi man narrates the events of the ceremony and the sacred Canupa is passed round.  This all takes about four to six hours and is an evening event.  Yuwipi is followed by a  potluck. The Yuwipi is an important Ceremonial that we are excited to have in our community as well as visitors from all over.

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Singing for Yuwipi / Lowanpi is a very serious matter. The lead singer and the accompaniment should not take it lightly. It is of utmost importance for the singer to be able to sense the man in the middle within the cover of total darkness as well as the coming and going of the various spirits that may be present. To get started the sacred Canupa will be filled with Cancasa with the accompaniment of the Pipe filling song or Opagipi Olowan. Sometimes two other pipe songs may be sung with it. Then for the tying this song can be sung although it is not necessary.

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It is important that this all happens swiftly and without delay (tying). As soon as the man is in the center face down the lights are extinguished and the directional song (Tatetopakiya Olowan) is sung. There are some very important things to know about this song. This song is received by the medicine man during vision quest and is his personal song. It is sometimes known as an altar song or as Wicakicopi Olowan (they call them song). This type of song can only be learned in person Unless a regular directional song is being used. A good example of this would be the directional song of the sweat lodge. Other spirits are called in now with the calling songs, the Deer, Mole, Bat and stone spirits’ (Yuwipi Wasicunwould take precedence for us. The calling songs can vary greatly with circumstance and the Yuwipi Bundle itself.

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A prayer song is sung signaling the time of prayer. This can happen in a number of ways depending on the situation. Basically this is when the spirits are asked for healing or the whereabouts of someone or something. The spirits may go look to check something out or retrieve an object or Ghost.  Healing songs would now be sung as the spirits get to work on the sponsor and whomever stands to receive a healing. This usually happens either by the sponsor, select individuals or by everyone.

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The spirits’ may perform tasks in answer of the prayers during the healing round but may continue working into the next set of songs. Depending on the medicine man a wide variety of songs can be sung at this point. Now it is common to hear Kettle songs, Ceh’ohomni Olowan. These are better known as Heyoka songs or Thunder being songs.

 These clown songs originally are used as part of the Kettle Dance and other Heyoka rites. It is said that the ghosts of the Heyoka Medicine men intervene in the Yuwipi /Lowanpi cerimony to affect a cure, who really knows? These songs may be sung solely to call the Thunder beings as well as other related spirits. Many other songs can be sung, there are the stone songs, spider songs, and all the various animal songs.

The spirits Do the untying with the untying song. This song is known as Wicayujujupi Olowan. Now Spirit dancing songs are sung. This songs known as Waci Olowan are sung in the sweat Lodge as well as the Sun Dance. In the lodge it is used in the most active time for the spirits which is the third door. During Sundance it is sung while the pierced dancers are breaking free or just after that. During Yuwipi this is at the point of untying. Sometimes in a ceremony such as this a version is used calling the stone spirits to dance, it is up to the Yuwipi man. At this point regular Sweat and Sundance songs may be sung for the spirits pleasure, for them to dance.

No matter how the ceremony progresses or how it is preformed or whatever, the Spirits go home song and the closing song are always song. Sometimes a few songs are sung just before this.

28. Closing Song           ( spirits go home song ).                  This is a must know song! For most every ceremony whether its’ for a simple Sweat Lodge or to end a Sun Dance!!!

Hot aninyan kin najin pelo, Hot aninyan kin najin pelo, Tunkasila ta wokonze ca, Lena cicu welo. Hot aninyan kin najin pelo.

English

As we leave our voices are heard, As we leave our voices are heard, It is Grandfather’s will, That I give you these offerings. As we leave our voices are heard.

Espanol

Mientras partimos, nuestra voces se eswchan, Mientras partimos,nuestra voces se eswchan, Es la voluntad de el Abuelo, Que te doy estas ofrendas, Mientras partimos, nuestra voces se eswchan, 

 29. Ending Song

Kola, lena cicu welo wayankiyelo, Kola, lena cicu welo wayankiyelo.

Anpetu okihica cicu welo, Kola lena cicu welo wayankiyelo.

English

My friend, I have given you these. Behold them, My friend, I have given you these. Behold them.

The day has made it possible to give you these offerings, My friend, I have given you these. Behold them.

Espanol

Mi amigo te e dado esto, recibelo, Mi amigo te e dado esto, recibelo.

El dia ha echo posible poder darte estas ofrendas, Mi amigo te e dado esto, recibelo.

Black Bear

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Rules for singing Lakota Ceremonial Songs

Important Details about Ceremonial songs

“Rules for singing Lakota Ceremonial Songs”




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  When singing this style of song, be sure to pay close attention to the drumbeat.  It is usually either a fast steady beat, Like a ruffle, or a slow thunder beat or like a heartbeat. In general there are these two types of drum beat with many different styles and variations, fast and slow. Some of these songs are hard to play without the right beat. Slow songs work best with a fast beat while fast songs seem to fit a slow beat  When singing along and not drumming it is helpful to tap along with the drummers. this will help to learn the correct rhythm.

The easiest mistake in the act of singing Lakota songs is singing to the beat of the drum. We are taught in school to clap to time with a song. In most drumming systems of Indigenous cultures and even our modern culture, we use an off beat. While clapping, most of us use an on beat rather than an off beat. An on beat is the opposite of an off beat.

Usually, when clapping one would start a song with the clap and the clapping would happen at each syllable, that’s the on beat. What you want is the drum beat between each syllable, starting the song after the clap and the syllables of the lyrics occurring between the beats. Lets use an example, the song “Mary had a little lamb”, what you want is to hear the drum beat * between the syllables. Ma*ry* had* a *li*ttle* lamb*. Like that.

A good way to get it right is to practice drumming with a heart beat (thunder beat), that’s a two beat. One two, one two, one two, the “one” being the loud beat and the “two” being the more quiet of the heart beat. Practice starting the song on the “two”. If you were clapping you would start the song when your hands are furthest apart and each syllable would occur when your hands are apart (the off beat).

 Another point of consideration is distinguishing between vocables and lyrics. Vocables are sounds and are not written among the lyrics.  Usually the syllables and melody of the vocables match the lyrical part of the song. Vocables can be compared to the European equivalent: Fa La La La La, La La La La (deck the halls).  Usually songs containing vocables, begin with vocables. Very rarely are the vocables after the lyrics or between the words.

When singing alone or without accompaniment you would sing the songs the way they are written.  When singing with others you would use a call and response.  That is when the song leader calls out the first line of the song; the group would then repeat that line. Ladies would join in on the third line, unless of course there are only two singers, a man and a woman. Some of these recordings have a call and response although they are written without it. As a rule of thumb with the call and response the group joins in just before the leader sings the vocable sound He.  This sound is found at the end of some of the sentences, He.

Other things to consider in singing these songs

Some of these songs are specific to particular lineages. In that case only one or two words may be different from one Tiospaye (family lineage)  to another. Most of these songs are general and are sung by many groups and at different ceremonies. An animal calling song is for calling in the power of specific animals. A stone song is for calling in the spirits of stones. Be sure you are not calling things unnecessarily.

Saguache

These songs are very powerful and not to be idly whistled or sung in the shower. Put down a pinch of tobacco as an offering first. This can be placed in a special spot, it can be rubbed or sprinkled upon the drum. A little water is good for the spirit of the drum, but before singing songs always put down tobacco. It is important not to “cry wolf” with the spirits. If these songs are sung idly too much the Spirits may stop responding.

By learning songs from a C.D. or computer they may only attract lesser nearby spirits. They may not have the same impact until they are sung along within a genuine tradition. The more powerful spirits follow an oral line of association that is lost without actual contact with lineage holders. By singing and learning these songs here the spirits may eventually draw you into the ceremonies and traditions that use them.

Kid's songs

Thunder Being songs are for addressing the Thunder Beings who are the law enforcement branch of the Creator.They sung to invoke the healing power of the thunders. Do not sing any thunder being songs at night out of context. Thunder being songs call thunder beings during the day and ghosts at night. Honestly, one should never really sing any kind of song carelessly outside at night. In the event of attracting ghosts sing the sending the spirits home Closing Song and the Ending Song. It is good to know these songs to send spirits back home, especially when it is helpful to them.

Thunder being songs include any Heyoka or “kettle songs”.  Heyoka people, or sacred fools, may sing these songs at other occasions. If you are not initiated as a Heyoka, meaning that if you have not performed a kettle dance successfully, you should avoid singing these songs out of context. Any one can sing most of the Thunder Being songs in the sweat lodge and yuwipi ceremonies provided that they are followed by the proper closing and ending songs.

When Heyoka people sing, since they are contrary to the proper way, they will use an “on beat” with the drum rather than an “off beat”. The dog song should only be sung at the Kettle Dance (Heyoka Initiation). Heyoka people may sing this song out of turn, don’t do this, it is asking for the spirits to “take” a dog as an offering.

Healing songs are for doctoring people. The songs themselves are a healing medicine. They can be sung in sweat lodge, Yuwipi, or on their own as a treatment. Canupa songs (pipe songs) should generally be sung when the pipe is present. If you carry a canupa it is okay to sing those songs whenever but always give a tobacco offering to the drum, especially when rehearsing. Pipe filling songs should only be sung while loading the pipe facing west. Again it is alright in the process of learning to sing the pipe filling songs, having offered tobacco to the drum and ending your lessons with the “Sending the Spirits Home” closing song.

There are various different closing songs when reaching near the end of a ceremony. For instance, in the fourth round of the sweat lodge one might sing a closing offering song. Be sure to check with your leaders about this as they vary from tradition to tradition. Some of our closing songs may not be used by other lineages to close. It all depends on what the spirit helpers of a tradition are used to. When visiting a sweat lodge you know little about it would be safest to not lead any closing songs at all.

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There are a handful of songs not available here that are too specific. These are the opening Yuwipi/Lowanpi songs for calling in the directional spirits. They vary from ceremony to ceremony and from one medicine man to another. To get these songs you will have to learn them in ceremony. That is the only time those songs are ever sung.

Always remember the origins of these songs, some of them are 12 thousand years old, some of them are relatively new. The important part is that they came to people through dreams and visions and were not composed in a mundane fashion. A song, then, connects to a spirit, a group of spirits and a person.

In essence it is not essential to know the meaning of a song for it to be effective. It is really good to know the meaning, but the songs are for the spirits. There should not be any element of performance in singing these songs. All these songs are for the sake of the spirits, not for entertainment purposes. Some domestic scholars are under the impression that the drum is used to lull the people into a “trance like state”. The drum is to call the spirits, any “trance like states” should be attributed to the presents of the spirits.

By learning all of these songs on our site we will become a Lowan Wicasa (song man) or a Lowan Winyan (song woman). Although not a prerequisite to being a medicine man or woman in the Lakota tradition you would have to be crazy to even attempt to embark on that path without most of these songs. Singers are integral to these ways, anyone knowing all of these songs are needed and honored regardless of race, creed, or color. If you put yourself out there you could at least get well fed!