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.
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