Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Def Leppard on the Reservation

Def Leppard On Standing Rock
Rock! Rock! 'Til You Drop 
By Dakota Wind
FORT YATES, N.D. - I think that I was fortunate to grow up on Standing Rock in the 80s. In retrospect I’d say that I grew up in a clash of cultures and I didn’t know it. I played outside and ran to the top of Golf Hill as much as I watched TV. It was like there was not enough time to do either. All the media I was exposed to in school, on TV and the radio was all in English. All the live music I was exposed to was what you might call pow-wow music.

I lived with my mother, but I grew up in my grandmother’s house where she and my Lala (grandfather) spoke Lakota daily. At school, at the same time we learned Lakota from Mrs. Good Left, and my grandparents thought it was waśtė, or good. Sometimes my grandparents would tell me something in Lakota, expect me to remember it, and relay it to Mrs. Good Left. Mrs. Good Left would laugh a pleasant chuckle, pleased that I wanted to learn and not because I said something incorrect. Sometimes, Mrs. Good Left would have me remember something to say to my grandparents too.

In those days on Standing Rock, sometime in the mid-eighties, cable arrived and with it came HBO and MTV. When movies like “Iron Eagle” came on, one of my uncles felt just as comfortable calling it Wambli Maza, Iron Eagle. Only for me, in my mind, to apply Lakota language to American media, felt decidedly odd. The first time it happened, or I heard my uncle Kenny jovially announce Wambli Maza ahi, śakowiŋ mazaskanśkan, not that he spoke Lakota all the time either, but his use of it amused my grandparents, and confused me to hear him say “Iron Eagle is coming, 7:00 o’clock.”

Louis Gossett Jr. seemed like regular feature on HBO with Enemy Mine and Iron Eagle.

I pictured in my mind a movie about Indians in the old days with tipis and horses. I didn’t know whether to be insulted or pleased that the movie was called “Iron Eagle” when I saw it. I liked the movie enough then that I got past the traditional Lakota village I envisioned when he’d announce Iron Eagle. Now, at least to me, Louis Gossett Jr. will always have the unofficial “Indian” name of “Iron Eagle," or Mita Toka, "Enemy Mine."

MTV was one of my favorite channels. My uncle Kenny and I would watch and memorize the videos. That was back when MTV actually played videos. My younger brother and I would enthusiastically watch HBO’s Double Feature Friday, especially when Commando and Terminator were scheduled, then we’d watch the Friday Night music fights and call in to support Van Halen’s “Jump” video. We'd stay up to watch reruns of Star Trek, the original series.

Here's a screen capture of Joe Elliot wielding a sword which had nothing to do with the song, but was pretty cool. I swear this video and the first Highlander made swords awesome. My brother and I would sword fight with my mother's knives when she left us alone - needless to say, we ruined all of her nice knives during our play. 

I fell asleep in the living room too many times to Def Leppard’s “Foolin’” that I swear I dreamed of myself beside Joe Elliot screaming “Is anybody out there? Is anybody there?” on a cliff side on the other end of Golf Hill.

My grandfather would take us to all the pow-wows, traditional celebrations you might call them, but I don’t think my grandfather ever really saw them as traditional. He would slap some Old Spice aftershave on, perch his WWII ball cap atop his head, we’d jump in his car and on our way out of town, he’d gas up at Tim’s and buy us a Coke. On the way to the pow-wows, Wacipi, as we call them, he’d slap a cassette tape in his black tape recorder and play songs he recorded at a previous pow-wow.

I’d usually bring along my personal cassette player and headphones and jam to Def Leppard, U2, Journey, Boston, Asia or hair metal bands like Trixter, Steelheart, and Cinderella, on the road trip. I didn’t always listen to my music. Sometimes I’d run my batteries down and then listen to KFYR 550 AM with my grandparents, which sounded especially old-fashioned to my ears. I wished I had asked more questions and listened with a sharper ear to my grandparents.

Once, well, more than once, I had the audacity to wear my headphones at the pow-wow. Def Leppard was nearly always handy in my pocket. I liked to imagine that somehow I’d snag a beautiful pow-wow girl and we’d make out to “Love and Affection.” That never worked out. I was rockin’ hard to “Rocket” as I was walking around the pow-wow bowery one evening, and I swear I laughed out loud, and the memory is still in my head clearly after all these years, men traditional dancers were dancing to the beat of Rocket and stopped when the song ended. I can’t hear Rocket today without thinking of men’s traditional dancers.

My mother had a great big stereo in the living room, and we listened to it as much as we watched TV. On Saturdays, after cartoons, we’d clean house to the radio, and we always listened to the Top 40. We also had some of my grandfather’s pow-wow cassette tapes there, and once in a while we’d play those loud until the drumbeats and the base rattled my mother’s windows. Her stereo used to have a turntable too. I remembered that it had a sapphire needle and when it went missing she went ape shit. To this day I when I see a turntable I can’t help but remember her rant.

Here he is, Wicasa Maza, Iron Man. I'd totally adopt this guy as my brother in the Lakota tradition and give him that name.

I live off the reservation these days. I find myself saying the things like, “Let’s go see Wicasa Maza (Iron Man), Iktomi Iniha Kin (The Amazing Spiderman), Hoksila Mni (Water Boy),” to my boys, as if to make the movie we’re going to sound like something Hollywod made something about Indians. My favorite movie to do this with was Ozuya Wicakpi, or Star Wars. When the prequel movies came out, I’d announce to my oldest, “Let’s go see that new movie, Ozuya Wicakpi,” I’d even embellish my take on it, “Indianing it up” so to speak. I made Qui-gon Jin and Obiwan Kenobi sound like medicine men. When he wouldn’t want to go, I’d say something to the effect that I was going to see Star Wars (in English) and he’d change his mind.

I like Def Leppard. Its like the soundtrack to my life or something. That group has been a part of my life in childhood, middle school (I held a girl’s hand to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” for the first time), high school, college, work, and life in general. I even made a video of my boys to Def Leppard’s “Promises.” I don’t expect them to like my dated tastes, I’m glad though, that when they’ll hear it, they’ll think of me.

We’re going to name our boys with traditional Lakota names in a few weeks. I’m taking care of a few last things and we’ll be ready. With this kind of tradition, a give-away or feed is usually called for the occasion. I’d like to invite Def Leppard if I could. I would love it if Robert Downy Jr. came too. I'd give him the name "Wicasa Maza."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Luke Winter Count

The Luke Winter Count begins in the center and spirals outward in a counter-clockwise manner.
The Luke Winter Count
A Lakota Perspective On The Life Of Jesus
By Dakota Wind
FORT YATES, N.D. - Late last year, an Episcopal (Anglican if you're not an American) priest made a passing comment to my mother about how wonderful it would be to make a winter count about the life of Jesus Christ. My mother relayed the comment to me and I thought about it, dismissed it (or thought I dismissed the idea of it), and went to sleep.

In the middle of the night, I awoke, thinking, it might be possible. I emailed Fr. John and we began a dialog.

This past spring, my Leksi (pronounced "lek-SHEE," which means "uncle") Cedric and Fr. John came to an agreement that allowed Fr. John to acquire a brain-tanned bison robe. I met with Fr. John about the winter count concept and he suggested using the Gospel of Luke. He actually saved me a lot of work by organizing and summarizing the verses of the book himself, and I agreed to prepare this work in memory of my Lala (meaning "grandfather") and Unci (oon-CHEE, meaning "grandmother"), and Leksi Randolph, and Leksi Kenneth.

Traditionally it seems to have been that the winter count is named after the keeper. Though I made it, it must not be named after me. In my notes, and email exchanges with Fr. John, my Miskunla (mee-SHKOON-la, meaning "little sister") Rev. Angela, and her husband, my Misunkala (mee-SUUN-kah-lah, meaning "little brother") Rev. Brandon, and Ciye (chee-YAY, older brother) Rev. Terry, and Leksi Martin, I referred to the winter count as the Jesus Winter Count, in passing talk I've called it the Savior Winter Count. However, the winter count will be kept at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Fort Yates, and being that it is based on the Gospel of Luke, it would be most proper to call it the Luke Winter Count.

So, here is what I've been up to these past few months. Please share it.


Luke 1:35
Unkan ohnihde wakan kin waayupte ca heciya; Woniya Wakan kin en niu kta, qa Iyotan Wakantu towasake kin aohanziniye kta qa hecen taku wakan wan yaton kte cin he Wakantanka Cihintku kin eciyapi.

The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.


Luke 1:46
Unkan Mary heya; Minagi kin Itancan kin yatan;

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,


Luke 2:4
Unkan Joseph, David ti qa wicowazi tawa kin hetanhan, heon is eya, Galile en Nazareth otonwe kin etanhan ye ca, Bethlehem David totonwe kin ekta ki;

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;


Luke 2:10 [image of an eagle with a voice, the voice an image of the star]
Unkan ohnide wakan kin hewicakiya; Wikopapi sni po; iho, wopida tanka wootanin waste oyate kin owancaya ecen ye kte cin, he eca hosi cicahipi ce.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.


Luke 2: 34
Unkan Simon wicayawaste, qa hunku Mary heciya; Inyun, Israel en wicota hicahanpi, qa ake inajinipi kte cin on hoksiyopa kin de ehdepi, qa nakun wowapetokeca ienhdepi kte cin ee kta;

Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”


Luke 2:46
Unkan yamni can, hehan tipi wakan kin en waospekiyapi kin wicacokam waanawicagoptan, qa wiwicawanh yanka iyekiyapi.

And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.


Luke 3:21-22

Unkan oyate kin owasin baptism wicaqupi, qa Jesus is eya baptism quip, qa cekiya un qehan, mahpiya kin yuzamnipi; Qa Woniya kin wakiyedan kahya tantonyan kun u, qa en iyahan; unkan mahpiya eciyantanhan wicaho wan hiyu, qa heya; Micinksi wastewakidake cin he niye; niye on iyomakipi hinca.

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened; And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.


Luke 4:3 [image of a man in the sunlight, another man stands beside him with bread in one hand, a stone on the ground; a line above the first man, a broken line above the second]
Unkan Jesus waayupte ca heciya; Wakantankan Cihintku kin he niye hecinhan, inyan kin de aguyapi icage kta, keya wo.

And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.


Luke 4:35 [image of Jesus siezing a broken dead spirit spirit]
Unkan Jesus kisice ca heciya; Inina un, qa wicasta kin etanhan tanka hinapa wo, eya. Unkan wakansice  cin wicasta qon wicacokam ehpeye cehan, etanhan tanka hinapa; tuka ksuweye sni.

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.


Luke 4:40 [image of Jesus, holding a whole hoop, for health and wholeness – sign for many behind him]
Unkan wi iyaya hehan, woyazan ocaje ota wicayazan tona wicayuhapi kin hena en awicahipi; unkan otoiyohi nape awicahnake ca asniwicaya.

Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.


Luke 5:13 [image of a man with smallpox, a wasting deadly disease to the Lakota]
Unkan nape yekiye, ca yutan, qa heya; Wacin ce; ska un wo, eya. Unkan wanacake leprosy ececa qon asni hinhda.

And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.


Luke 5:24-25 [image of an arrow pointing into the heart, inside a lodge]

Tuka Wicasta Cihintku kin he is maka akan waohtani kajuju kta okihi sdonyayapi kta; hehan tatake cin he heciya; Najin qa nitowinja ehdaku qa yati kin ekta had wo, eciciya ce, eya. Unkan wancake wicitokam najin hiyaye, ca akan wanke ciqon he ehdaku, qa iye ti kin ekta hde, ca Wakantanka yantan.

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.


Luke 6:12-13 [Image of sunrise – arrow pointing up to sun – thirteen marks denote Jesus and the twelve followers]

Unkan anpetu kin hena en Jesus paha wan ekta wocekiye eya I; qa hanyetu osan Wakantanka cekiya un. Unkan wanna anpa qehan, waonspewicakiye cin wicakico, qa etanhan ake nonpa wicahkdahnige ca, Wahosiyapi, ewicakiya.

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.


Luke 6:23,26 [Image of life or sacredness above the sign for death]

Anpetu kin he en wiyuskinpi, qa wopida on skehanhan po; iho, mahpiya ekta wokajuju tanka duhapi; atewicayapi kin is eya iyecen wicasta wokcanpi wicakuwapi qon. Tohan wicasta owasin tanyan eniciyapi kinhan, wotehi niciyankapi ece; atewicayapi kin hecen wicasta wokcan itonsni wicakuwapi qon.

Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.


Luke 6:27 [image of a cross arrows means peace]
Tuka nahon dukanpi kin heciciyapi ce, Tokaniyanpi kin hena cantewicakiya po, qa sicenidapi kin hena tanyan ecawicakicon po.

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,


Luke 6:37 [image of an arrow going in one direction, a broken arrow - a sign of peace - in the opposing direction]
Wayacopi sni po, kinhan niyacopi kte sni; owa wicakiyepi sni po, kinhan owaniciyepi kte sni; wicakicicajuju po, kinhan nicicajujupi kta.

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.


Luke 6:43 [image of a full and ripe chokecherry bush next to a withered bush]
Can wanji waste kin waskuyeca sica icahye sni; qa nakun can wanji sice cin he waskuyeca waste icahye sni.

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.


Luke 6:47-48 [image of one lodge in water, another lodge sits on a bank above the flood plain]

Tuwe ekta mahi, qa mioie nahon, qa ecan econ kin he tuwe kicica hecinhan he ito ocicyakapi kta. Wicasta wan tipi kaga; unkan temahentu maka qe, ca oahehde kin imnija wan akan ehde; unkan mnitan aye cehan, wakpa kin tipi kin he en nina kaduza, tuka kahuhuze kta okitpani, imnija akan ehdepi nakaes, he iyececa.

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.


Luke 7:2-3,10 [image of a war chief kneeling; the sign for "100" made with his right hand, whom the chief leads]

Unkan akicita opawinge wicayuhe cin wanji taokiye wan tehinda kin he wayazanke ca wanna te kta. Unkan he wanna Jesus on nahon qehan, Jew hunayapi kin hena ekta ye wicasi, u kta qa taokiye kin asniye kte cin he icekiya. Unkan ye wicasipi qon icicawin tiyata kipi qehan, ookiye wayazanke cin he wanna asni iyeyapi.

And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.


Luke 7:12, 14, 15 [image of man rising from a burial scaffold]

Unkan otonwe tiyopa kin he ikiyedan wanna ehan I qehan, inyun, wicasta wan ta tankan aupi; hunku kin wiwazica heca, qa cihintku hecedan. Unkan otowe kin etahan wicota opapi. Unkan canakiyuhapi kin en u, qa yutan. Unkan akiyuhapi qon is owanji najinpi. Unkan heya; Koska, bosdan yanka wo, eiciciya ce, eya. Unkan te ciqon iyotanke, ca ia. Unkan hunku kin kici.

Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.


Luke 7:27-28 [image of hands above water to signify baptism, an arrow indicating something greater than the one baptizing]

Iho, wahosiya mitawa kin he niite itokam ye wasi, nitokam canku wiyeya nicicage kta ce, eya owapi qon he dee. Qa miye heciciyapi; winohinca eciyatanhan wicatonpi kin wicasta wokcan tu wedan John the Baptist wicaqu qon isanpa tanka sni: tuka Wakantanka tokiconze kin en tuwe iyotan cistinna kin he he kappa ce.

This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.


Luke 7:37, 38, 48, 50 [image of weeping woman]

Unkan iho, otonwe bin en winuhinca wahtanj sa kin hoc a, he, Pharisee ti kin en wota iyotanka sdonye cehan, inyan opiye ihepi ohna yuha en hi; Qa tapetepa tanhan siha kin en ceya najin, qa igta minihanpe kin on siha kiciyujaja, qa paha kin on kicipakinta ca, siha kin ikiciputake, ca ihepi qon on sda kiciciya. Hehan winyan qon heciya; Niohan sice cin hena nicicajujupi ce. Unkan winohinca qon heciya; Wacinyaye cin he niniyan ce ; wookiye on hda wo.

And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.


Luke 8:4-8 [image of a healthy corn stalk, beside which are a seed, a withered stalk, and a broken stalk]

Unkan wicota mniciyapi, qa otonwe otoiyohi etanhan en ahi qehan, wiyacinpi on wowicakiyaka: Woju heca wan taka su kin oju iyaya. Woju, unkan apa canku icahda hinhpaya; unkan naatinzapi, qa mahpiya okinyanpi kin temyapi. Unkan apa imnija wan ahinhpaya; unkan uye cehan, spaye sni on wancake snija. Unkan apa wapepeka ehnahna hinhpaya; unkan wapepeka opeya uye, ca aotinsya. Unkan apa is maka waste ahinhpaya; unkan uye, ca opawingege suton, eya. Unkan hena hecekcen eye cehan, heya niyan; Tuwe noge winahon yukan hecinhan, ito nahon kta ce, eya.

And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


Luke 8:16-18 [image of an open tipi - no secrets - with fire inside]

Wicasta kin tuwedan petijanjan wan idcye, ca waksica wan iyahdapsinyan ehpeye sni, qa nakun owinja wan ohdateya ehnake sni ece; tuka petijanjan ihupa akan ehde ece: hecen tona en ipi kinhan, ijanjan kin wanyakapi kta. Taku anahmanpi qa yuotaninpi kte sni wanica; qa nakun taku yutaninsniyan hnakapi qa yutaninyan eyakupi kte sni wanica ce. Heon token nayahonpi hecinhan itonpa po; tuwe wayuhe cin he nakun qupi kta; qa tuwe wayuhe sni kin he taku yuha kecin kin hee ikicicupi kta ce, eya.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.


Luke 8:19-21 [image of two circles, the cross in one denotes that Christ's message is the center of one's life, the encircled heart that which one holds close]

Hehan hunku qa hunkawanjitku kin hena en hipi, qa wicota kin on ikiyedan upi kta okihipi sni. Unkan okiyakapi qa heyapi; Nihun qa nihunkawanji tankan najinpi, qa wannihdake kta cinpi ce. Unkan waayupte, ca hewicakiya; Wakantanka oie nahonpi, qa ecen econpi kin dena ina qa mihunkawanji eepi ce, eya.

Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.


Luke 8:22-24 [image of men in a bullboat, the means which the Lakota crossed the Missouri River and others]

Unkan onpetu kin hena wanji en, waonspewicakiye cin om wata wan en opa; qa hewicakiya; Mde kin akasanpa unyanpi kta ce. Hecen canan eyaya. Tuka sina watopekiyapi icunhan iye istinma: unkan tate iyumni wan mde kin en u; qa mni ojudan yakonpi, hecen tapi kta kokipapi. Hehan en hipi qa yuhicapi qa heyapi ; Itancan, Itancan, untakunipi sni. Unkan najin hiyaye ca, tate qa mni taja ko ki sica: hecen ayustan, qa amdakedan tanka.

Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

To be continued...