Though bellies complained from the huge celebration meal, the men began singing,
accompanied by Lakota tribal drums. Singing was a big part of Lakota life and though
their songs often had no real words, they had deep meaning and told many stories.
“Ai ya ya ya, Ai ya ya ya,” they vocalized loud and strong, one high note followed by
three lower sounds. They sang and danced in a circle, surrounding the young couple
holding a baby.
The Naming Song completed, Fighting Bear and his spouse, White Dove, brought their
new baby before the tribe’s medicine man, Wise Father. Lakota believed that Original
Man named every thing and therefore their spiritual leader had the responsibility and
honor to name all children.
Wise Father took the infant in his arms and spoke, “His name will be Little Fox. May he
be cunning and swift.” Wise Father held the baby up to Wani, god of four winds, and
pronounced the new name. And the ceremonial singing began anew.
Little Fox grew and learned the ways, customs, and beliefs of his people. He learned
the songs of the pipe, tobacco, cedar, and sweet grass. The songs of prayer and
ceremonial pow wow, and song stories of the Great Spirit.
Fighting Bear said to Little Fox, “It is the appointed time. You must choose what your
place in the tribe will be. Will you be hunter, warrior, or scout?”
The tribe observed his decision with eating, dancing, and singing Traditional and Honor
songs that celebrate past heroes. Once more Little Fox came before Wise Father.
“What calling do you choose to serve your people, Little Fox?”
“I choose to be a scout, to go before the warriors and warn of the enemy. I will find
good water with many fish, and will lead my people to safe dwellings as we follow the
trail of the buffalo.”
Wise Father announced, “You will now be called Eagle Fox. For you are cunning, swift
and have eyes like the eagle.”
The tribe sang the Sneak Up song, which is about the great scout. The dancers sneak
upon their target while the drums beat fast... then unexpectedly stop. The dancers
must halt just as quickly, or fail and must try again. Eagle Fox joined the dancing and
was first to reach his target. The whole tribe honored him.
Eagle Fox served his people well, and eventually took a wife named Bright Moon. The
time came for Bright Moon to deliver a child, but she couldn’t. Eagle Fox was
frightened and rushed to Wise Father. “Please, come help Bright Moon. She is unable
to bring forth my son.”
Wise Father hurried to Bright Moon and prayed to the Lakota gods. To Wi, the Sun,
and to Skan, the Sky. He prayed to Maka, the Earth and to Inyan, the Rock. He
prayed to all twelve lesser gods... but it brought no change to Bright Moon. Mournful
that the gods did not hear him, he departed.
Eagle Fox could not think of losing his woman and child. He retreated to the forest, fell
to his knees and cried out. “Oh, Wakan Tanka, hear my cry. I do not pray to all the
gods of the Lakota. They are but attributes of You, The Great Mystery, The One
Supreme Being. You are Creator of Original Man. I pray to You alone. Deliver my wife
and son from death and I will sing a new song to You. I will honor You and tell my
people of Your power and goodness. You are a mighty warrior and overcome Your
enemy. I ask You to deliver us.”
Eagle Fox trudged back to camp. The squaws of the tribe would not let him go in to
Bright Moon. He sat before the fire, formed a new Honor Song in his mind, and began
“Oh, Great Mystery, You are Creator,
You are Mighty Warrior,
Chief of all gods.
You are Earth, Sky, Sun and Rock
Wind, Moon, and Water,
Great All-Powerful Spirit.”
As Eagle Fox finished singing, he heard a baby’s cry. Tears of thankfulness flowed
down his cheeks. “Thank You, Great and Mighty One.”
Bright Moon and Eagle Fox brought their new baby before Wise Father after the singing
of the Naming Song. Wise Father took the baby and said, “ He will be called Divine
Gift, for the Great Mystery has heard and granted you His favor.” And everyone
rejoiced and sang the new Honor Song.
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