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Ancestral Voices

Ancestral Voices

R. Carlos Nakai & William Eaton with the Black Lodge Singers

by R. Carlos Nakai

Everything moves in circles, everything returns. This collection of instrumental expressions is part of the ageless cycle of the creation of new stories and traditions that belong to the personal experiences of all native Americans regardless of their ancestry and draws upon the music of both the "old" and "new" worlds for inspiration. In this spirit, the final selection of this recording is a synthesis of diverse traditions of the Americas. MANY FLAGS incorporates the American Flag Song sung at pow-wows for the presentation of the flag. We are honored to be joined by the Black Lodge Singers of the Blackfeet people to present music that is a testament to the durability of the original Americans.

71 minutes — ©1992



Item #

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1 Dreaming a Life
As night settles,
Mesquite fire
Warms the voice
Of the singer
Who brings wonder
To a child’s ear.
2 Beyond the Edge
Tales of sailing ships
That carry men and myths
Where the sun sinks below the water,
Falling off the edge -
Beyond civilization?
3 Caravanserai
Tales of caravans
That carry the imagination along
Foot trails, highways, and airways,
Criss-crossing a world growing smaller,
'Til the webs of commerce
trade all the
Old myths for new worldliness.
4 Indios Mythos
Weary myth disappears like a lost sailor
Discovering a world already discovered,
Kissing the sand after too many days at sea,
Not realizing that moving a grain of sand
Changes the order of the whole world.
5 Stone Mirage
The fire shadows give motion
To figures etched in stone.
The youth points at the horses
Who carry the armored men across
The canyon wall, still searching
For the lost city of Cibola.
6 Unfolding Sky
Great grandmother sees
Herself in the child.
Saguaro and crow witness
Worn trails becoming paved.
Humans pass like clouds.
Father sky is everywhere
Embracing the precious struggle.
7 First Voices
Predator and prey struggle
As the wild meets death.
Apology is given
To the escaping spirit
But the voice remains,
Resonating in the sinew,
Fashioned for the bow,
That keeps the rhythm,
Beating in the heart.
8 Covenants Shared
In the first peoples’ world
The balance of power is harmonious.
All feed each other in dreams.
9 Promise Given
Born a child
Into many cultures
One learns to become
As 'the people’ to ensure
For as long as the grass shall grow.
The responsibility of ‘becoming
a human being’.
10 Making Thunder
Hooves thunder over the plains.
Guns and horses feel the desperate hands,
Human tide swells beyond familiar shores.
Plowing the prairie oceian into rows.
11 Returning as Clouds
In life, is the rain
That washes the sky
That gathers in streams
That gathers in dreams
That flow like rivers
Back into the ocean
To give birth to clouds
Which become every shape
In the fleeting, changing, Sky.
12 In the Silver Glow
In the silver glow
Between day and night
Hushed-wing cries out.
Cloud bird answers.
Two Crows listens.
Makes prayer.
13 Walking the Shining Earth
Walk the shining earth.
Walk to quiet the chattering inside.
Walk to feel the soft skin of your mother’s face.
Walk to know the big dream that surrounds us.
The world shall be as it ts.
14 Dreams of the Children
Each morning
Children return.
Fresh hope
Begins again.
15 Earth Chant
All of us.
Born from the earth.
Touch the earth.
Making our life.
16 Saguaros
Rain forest trees
Dream of becoming
Sonoran buffalo
Arms stretched out to the sun
Offering their food and gifts
To the desert people.
17 Life Seeking Eternity
Life seeks change in becoming.
18 Many Flags
Two Crows rests above the dome.
Eyes gazing across the land.
Dreaming of hope and promise.
Waiting for the elusive freedom.
That guides the four winds.
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