Listen to Lakota Elder Janice Red Willow List Prairie Animals in Lakota


Lakota Elder Janice Red Willow speaks with mule Polly
Hisle, South Dakota

Mule Polly and I were recently guests of Lakota Elder Janice Red Willow. Listen as Janice pronounces the names of common prairie animals in her Native Lakota…

Traveling across the Great Plains from Canada to Mexico in the Lost Sea Expedition wagon, mule Polly and I encounter all sorts of prairie animals: antelope, deer, rabbits and prairie dogs. Around lakes, we hang out with Western Painted Turtles.


Western Painted Turtle
Imlay (pronounce “Emily”), South Dakota

But those are White Man names.

What, I wondered, did the Lakota Indians, call these creatures?

Recently, while traveling across Pine Ridge Reservation, mule Polly and I spent several days visiting with Lakota Elder Janice Red Willow of Hisle, South Dakota.


Lakota Elder Janice Red Willow
Hisle, South Dakota

Early one morning, with Polly listening in, Janice shared the Lakota names of the prairie fauna surrounding us.


Janice (L) explains as mule Polly and friend listen

Click on the player to listen to Janice Red Willow speak.

Post Script: Thank you, or in your native Lakota, “pila ma yo”, Janice, for putting mule Polly and me up – and keeping us going with “black medicine” (known as coffee aboard the Lost Sea wagon).


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