Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
June 3, 2000-Issue 11

Cherish the Children
For They Are Sacred

Songs & Teachings for Children by Travis Harden and the Feather Necklace Singers

"Let us put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children." Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull)

These words are the inspiration behind Travis Harden and the Feather Necklace Singers. This recording has been created as a teaching tool for young children and educators. This is meant as a fun learning experience as well as a sharing of cultural knowledge. Travis initially started singing in schools so native children in non-Indian schools would feel proud of their tradition.

Travis Francis Harden is a 40 year old singer of Minnecojou Ihunktowan Lakota and Hochunk Nation descent. He is very active in the cultural life of the Lakota people. He gives freely of his time and can be found singing at graduations, funerals, memorials, schools, powwows, and Native American functions such as youth camps.

Travis is a descendent of Feather Necklace or Wiyaka Napin-one of the last great headman and defenders of the Ihunktowan people. His great grandmother, Mabel Arconge would teach her grandchildren "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" during the blackouts of WWII. All of her grandchildren grew up calling her Grandma Twinkle Star.

Travis is related to Means, Curlys, Decoras, Charging Eagle and Frank Tiospayes (extended family) through blood descent and marriage. Many in his family are known throughout Native country as staunch and uncompromising activists in the defense of Native people, lands and culture.

It is from this background of activism that Travis has made his own personal commitment to teaching and working with young children. Children are referred to in the Lakota language as wakanyeja (sacred beings) and so let us regard and teach them as such.

The Feather Necklace Singers (in order of picture below) are:

Wakinyan Maza (Iron Lighting) Harden, Age 11, Minnecojou Lakota/Hochunk/Ihunktowan; Jeremy White Face, 11, Oglala Lakota; Joe Hawkins, Jr., 14, Oglala Lakota; Yamni Frank Harden, 10, Minnecojou Lakota/Hochunk/Ihunktowan; Sloan Bull Bear, 11, Oglala Lakota; and Jonathan Rasch, 12, Oglala Lakota.

"Cherish the Children for They are Sacred" is dedicated to the memory of Marilyn Frank Takes the Knife "Inyan Ska Win" and Fred "Bosco" Harden.

The cover of the CD is an original art of "Sitting Bull With Children" that is used by kind permission of Gwarth-ee-lass, also known as Leonard Peltier.

If you would like a copy of the soon to be released CD/cassette, please call or write to:

Medicine Wheel Music
2107 Oak Avenue
Rapid City, SD 97701
(605) 348-1695

"The Piggie Song" by the Feather Necklace Singers (WAV - 285KB)

click above to listen

"The Stair Song w/ Kids" by the Feather Necklace Singers (WAV - 217KB)

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To Order This Recording (and hear more samples), Click Here


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