Taku Skanskan - Lakota Yuwipi Songs
The Yuwipi is a healing ceremony, sometimes called a "house ceremony." It is generally performed inside a building in complete darkness. The wicasa wakan or "holy man" is usually bound in a blanket during the ceremony. It is said that strange and wonderous things occur. This cassette presents some of the songs used in Yuwipi.
INTRODUCTION: Elmer Running, Medicine Man, Rosebud Reservation, October 1990
“For many winters now, I have sat at my altar under the guidance of the spirits, as singers we had some thoughts, maybe someday we will not be here, our children and grandchildren are going to grow up and therefore, these songs on this day we are going to sing them, there is noth-ing bad about it. Some people do it without the guidance or consultation of a medicine man or spiritual leader, today all over this world we hear a lot of these songs.
“Right now, I work with a vision under the supervision of the spirits, the vision that they have given me come directly from the grandfa-ther. We are thinking about the future of the people, that is why we are making a record of these songs so that the future generations can make use of them and they will not be lost. The spirits say, “there will be no end to this peace Pipe,” our fathers and forefathers used these songs in their ceremonies and when they left this world, took a lot of these songs with them, today we don’t know these songs. They’re lost! “So we are going to sing these songs out of respect for the future of our people, that they may go into the days ahead in a good way and these songs will go with them. As the sun goes to one side on this day, with good health and help in mind, we sing these songs. Some of the people will live for a longer period of time, as for us we are old in this world, for those reasons we are singing these songs so that they will go on into the future, those are the things we gave thought to on this day.
“Because we are doing this under the guidance of the spirits nothing bad will come from this, neither will there be any criticism for we are doing this in honor of the people. As the sun goes to one side on this day this is me, Elmer Running, saying this. Before you think bad of this, remember we have done a good thing in preserving these songs for those to come!”
All My Relatives