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Spoken Word: With Music World: Native American Moods: Spiritual

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United States - South Dakota

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Joseph Flying Bye

Joseph Flying Bye - Kangi Hotanka (Crow with a Loud Voice) was a pejuta wicasa (medicine man), akicita (decorated war veteran), and wakan wicasa (holy man) from the Hunkpapa tribe of the Lakota / Sioux Nation on the Standing Rock Reservation, better known for the leaders of the late 1890's such as Sitting Bull, Gall and American Horse.

Joe Flying Bye spent much of his early years helping his blind grandfather prepare medicines and pray over sick people. He would often lead his grandfather into town and listen to the old men talk of battles and life on the open plains. His grandmother would also tell him creation stories at night and in these ways he became a keeper of traditional knowledge and culture.

Many of the medicine men on the Standing Rock reservation today have received instruction from him.

On June 22, 2000 Joe Flying Bye passed into the spirit world. He will be dearly remembered by his family, friends and Lakota people.

Besides his work as a wakan wicasa (holy man), Joseph Flying Bye was an accomplished pipe maker, singer, traditional pow-wow dancer, and bead worker. He enjoyed his many visitors from all over the world and if you stopped by his house you would often find him working on a beaded staff or carving a pipe stone or stem. He would stop and tell you a story (usually a humorous one as it was traditional to start with light conversation before talking about the more serious matters that he would advise on), and during the course of your visit one or two other people might stop by with gifts of thanks or just to say hello.

Lakota was Joe Flying Bye's first language and it was rare that you would hear him speak English in a public address. He felt that in order for the Lakota culture to stay alive the people must speak their own language as a community. He was very concerned that the younger people were not interested in learning their own language. He knew that when they got older they would be looking for these things and we would need some elders to speak directly to them in their own language and frame of mind rather than getting information from historians after the fact. He was concerned about how his words would be translated so on the recordings he also spoke in English his own interpretations for these teachings.

At this time there are only a few elders who can see that far back into the past. The purpose of these recordings is to pass on what we currently know of that past and where we stand with these ways at this time. In this way, we can help the future generations hear an elder from those early times speak and pray.

The ceremonial songs contained in these recordings are considered sacred to the Lakota nation. Please treat them with honor and respect, and they will lead you to a place of peace and understanding. In troubled times they will bring you strength and comfort. They are a gift from the grandparents before us.

Remember to live a good life, and do good things with each day that you are given. Help each other and encourage each other to be good people.

We all play a part in what the future will be for the next generation. They will remember the things that they saw us do while we were with them and they will look at the path that we left behind for them to follow. Use your lifetime to leave a beautiful trail behind you.

At this time we are expecting to produce at least five different recordings total. Please check back periodically for release dates. Your purchases will help to keep our project alive.