December 10th, 2014 Last Updated on: December 10th, 2014
PUTTING THE MOCCASINS BACK ON by Joseph Flying Bye. Center Records. 2014. CD # 1-84851-0003-4.
“The Greatest thing that we need to do is to remember the Great Spirit, God, every day and every night,” Flying Bye asserts, “Every chance we get , we need to pray that the Family will stand.” “Every chance we get, we need to honor our relatives, to talk with our relatives,” he states, “we need to learn our language and our ways and be happy with that.” PUTTING THE MOCCASINS BACK ON features Hunkpapa Lakota Holy Man, Joseph Flying Bye, sharing his tribal traditions and Lakota language in a new CD.
“When you pray, you end the prayer with all my relations,” the fluent Lakota speaker pronounces, “not only your human relations, but your animal relations.” Further, “That is the power that the Grandfathers are talking about, but there are no Grandfathers they are all in the spirit realm, and so our young people get lost.” Putting the moccasins back on, literally and figuratively, represents a return to the culture and traditions because, “we have to go back to our own ways of life because we are on the wrong ways of life, we are walking the wrong directions.” The antidote to spiritual and societal sickness is to “go back to the ways of life that we used to walk, then we live on.”
“I pray to Grandfather to help us. I pray with the sacred things that I am talking about. He will answer me. My prayers will be answered,” Flying Bye reflects. He encourages his audience to pray since,”If you do these things, if you remember these things, then you will have life. Always remember to say a prayer.” Prayers permeate this CD in such selections as “Anpa Wi Wan Miye Yelo” and “Maka Iyojanjan”.
Channeling the wisdom of his Grandfather Flying Running, Flying Bye exhorts a youth-driven, consumerist culture to return to that “good way of life”. “Put your moccasins back on”, he challenges young Native people, in a metaphor for learning the old ways and for returning to the old paths. Rich rhythms of Lakota vocabulary open the CD,as Flying Bye calls on the knowledge of Grandfather Dreamer of the Sun to fill him and to help him to impart the teachings of the “Red Road.” Flying Bye teaches in Lakota and provides English translations.
“Lakota Teachings” focuses on the core virtues of Lakota culture, on the Sacred Stories and Sacred Songs. “If we try to be good, humbleness and goodness, we'll see more days in life,” he assures, “then you can be a Teacher and tell the people the good news of your life and of the life of the Lakota People.” Humility, Honor, Respect, Living in Balance with Nature are a few of the lessons that form the foundation for this powerful CD. “Before we do something and enter into our lives, we should remember the Great Spirit in prayer,” he recalls, “if you remember the Great Spirit in prayer, bad things will not happen to you. These are the teachings of the past and tomorrow.”
As Flying Bye sings “Sundance Songs”, his voice rises and falls with the power of many previous generations and the promise of the future. Treasured tunes for thought and for prayers resonate with listeners as genuine messages of strength and resilience. As a result, this CD is a timeless collection of Lakota language and lessons. Each track uplifts listeners to “walk the Red Road” as we enjoy the range of historical recounting, spiritual education and strong singing. PUTTING THE MOCCASINS BACK ON illustrates Flying Bye's greatest theme: “You think about it. Then you can be a Person. You can honor your relatives and know where you come from.”
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