Lakota Ceremonial Pipe Songs by Joseph Flying Bye, respected spiritual leader and Lakota holy man from the Standing Rock reservation.

Putting the Moccasins Back On, received two nominations in the 2016 Native American Music Awards for:

Best Traditional Recording

Best Historical/Linguistic Recording

Site last updated 7/6/17
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Lakota Ceremonial Pipe Songs Medicine Man in front of Hanbleceya Clouds
Lakota Ceremonial Pipe Songs for Future Generations

Joseph Flying Bye - The Night is Sacred 

Lakota / Sioux culture, history, and spirituality in the songs and teachings of a respected 83 year old Native American elder and traditional Lakota holy man from the Standing Rock Reservation (1917-2000)Spoken in both his native Lakota language and English. 

When asked what he would like his great grandchildren to know about many years from now, Joseph Flying Bye replied, "They need to know about the sacred pipe. Why we pray with the pipe. The meaning of the songs and words. What they need to learn, and know, and do."

The CD liner notes also include lyrics in both Lakota and English to aid in learning the songs.
Total time is 48 minutes.

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Track Listing

  1. Introduction
  2. Sacred People are Coming To See You (song)
  3. Interpretation and Background
  4. Pipe Filling Song (song)
  5. Interpretation
  6. Spotted Eagle Song (song)
  7. Interpretation
  8. Behold These are Sacred (song)
  9. Prayer
  10. Grandfather Come to See Me (song)
  11. Prayer and Closing Comment

Lakota Ceremonial Songs CD cover with Joseph Flying Bye standing on the prairie
Friend, Do It This Way

Joseph Flying Bye - Friend, Do It This Way  

What teachings are kept within a traditional Lakota ceremonial song?
On his second recording, Joseph Flying Bye discusses in depth the meanings and teachings behind the Pipe Filling Song. Many people only sing the first verse, but Joseph Flying Bye wanted to pass on the other three verses as he had learned them from a Grandmother during an extended stay on the Pine Ridge Reservation many years ago.

Based on his life experiences and ancestors' teachings, Joseph Flying Bye raises his voice to the upcoming generations to encourage them to follow the good red road of the Buffalo Calf Woman and the ways of a pipe carrier in the traditional Lakota life.  This recording also contains an Honoring Song that can be used to acknowledge community members for their contributions. Spoken in both Lakota and English. The liner notes also include lyrics in Lakota and English.
Total time is 53 minutes

Track Listing

  1. Introduction - The Great Day
  2. Remembering Who is Greater Above
  3. Pipe Filling Song
  4. Interpretation and Teachings
  5. Honoring Song
  6. Interpretation and Closing

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Lakota Medicine Man standing in sage on Standing Rock Reservation
Spirit Calling and Sundance Songs

Putting the Moccasins Back On – Walking the Red Road to Another Life, is the third recording in the series of Lakota ceremonial songs and traditional Lakota teachings by Joseph Flying Bye. In this recording, the 83 year old medicine man begins by singing a spirit calling song to bring in his direct ancestor, Flying Running, (also known as Wi Ihanble, a well known holy man and sundance leader of the Hunkpapa nation on the Standing Rock reservation, often mentioned by the medicine men interviewed by Frances Densmore in the early 1900's). Joseph Flying Bye opens his voice to let his grandfather speak through him, and to share two of the opening songs of the sundance ceremony (Wiwanyang Wacipi). Each are sung in the morning, just as the sun is coming up at the horizon, bringing the first light into the world. Joseph Flying Bye speaks in Lakota for his grandfather and then translates in English. Song lyrics included in both Lakota and English in the CD liner notes to aid with learning these songs.

Track Listing
1. Introduction
2. Opening Words in Lakota
3. Spirit Calling Song
4. Lakota Teachings
5. English Interpretation
6. Sundance Songs - Wi-wanyang Wacipi Olowan
7. Anpa Wi Wan Miye Yelo (I Am the Morning Sun)
8. English Interpretation
9. Maka Iyojanjan (Lights the Earth)
10. Interpretation II
11.Prayer and Closing

Who was Joseph Flying Bye?
Joseph Flying Bye - Kangi Hotanka (Crow with a Loud Voice) was a pejuta wicasa (medicine man), akicita (decorated war veteran), and wakan wicasa (holy man) from the Hunkpapa tribe of the Lakota / Sioux Nation on the Standing Rock Reservation, better known for the leaders of the late 1890's such as Sitting Bull, Gall and American Horse.

Joe Flying Bye spent much of his early years helping his blind grandfather prepare medicines and pray over sick people. He would often lead his grandfather into town and listen to the old men talk of battles and life on the open plains. His grandmother would also tell him creation stories at night and in these ways he became a keeper of traditional knowledge and culture. 

Many of the spiritual leaders on the Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, and Lower Brule reservations today have received instruction from him.

On June 22, 2000 Joe Flying Bye passed into the spirit world. He will be dearly remembered by his family, friends and Lakota people.


Joseph Flying Bye shares memories of his youth, helping the elders of that time perform ceremonies as they had learned from their grandfathers. At this time there are only a few elders who can see that far back into the past. The purpose of these recordings is to pass on what we currently know of that past and where we stand with these ways at this time.  In this way, we can help the future generations hear an elder from those early times speak and pray.

The ceremonial songs contained in these recordings are considered sacred to the Lakota nation. Please treat them with honor and respect, and they will lead you to a place of peace and understanding. In troubled times they will bring you strength and comfort. They are a gift from the grandparents before us.

Remember to live a good life, and do good things with each day that you are given. Help each other and encourage each other to be good people.

We all play a part in what the future will be for the next generation. They will remember the things that they saw us do while we were with them and they will look at the path that we left behind for them to follow. Use your lifetime to leave a beautiful trail behind you.

At this time we are expecting to produce at least five different recordings total. Please check back periodically for release dates. Your purchases will help to keep our project alive.

Pilamaya yelo

(Thank you)


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