Pi’la mi’ya ye’lo he (Thank You Song)

The Native American Chanunpa, the Sacred Pipe

European culture has stereotyped the Native American pipe and dubbed it a “peace pipe”. A lot of people think that only peyote smoking “Indians” use a “peace pipe”. Others say that the “peace pipe” is used to offer a hand of friendship, and is shared (passed) with new comers. “Peace Pipe” has also become a derogatory term used to reference smoking marijuana and getting high.

Traditionally, the Chanupa was, and is used, in ceremony as a means of communicating with Creator. Simply put, the smoke coming from the mouth of the pipe symbolizes truth being spoken. The plume of smoke rising from the bowl of the pipe carry our prayers to creator. The pipe is loaded, a pinch at a time, with tobacco, or a tobacco mixed with sweet smelling herbs, barks and roots indigenous to a local area.

We also sing this song at the end of a ceremony or worship service, to give thanks to Creator for hearing our prayers.

Lakota
Wakan tanka tunkasila
Pe’la mi’ya ye’lo he
C’anupa wakan ca
Miya’ku welo he
Pe’la mi’ya ye’lo he
Wi’co zo’ni wa’mayan ku ye’lo
Pe’la mi’ya ye
Pe’la mi’ya ye’lo he
Wakan tanka tunkasila
Pe’la mi’ya ye’lo he
C’anupa wakan ca
Miya’ku welo he
Pe’la mi’ya ye’lo he
Wi’co zo’ni wa’mayan ku ye’lo
Pe’la mi’ya ye
Pe’la mi’ya ye’lo he
English
Great Mystery, Grandfather
Thank you (masculine)
The pipe is sacred
to me
Thank you (masculine)
for my health, look at me
Thank you (feminine)
Thank you (masculine)
Great Mystery, Grandfather
Thank you (masculine)
The pipe is sacred
to me
Thank you (masculine)
for my health, look at me
Thank you (feminine)
Thank you (masculine)