In the past, Francis J Yellow (my father’s name) is how I signed my work as an “artist”. Now having lived 57 winters, I prefer Wanbli Koyake, Carries the Eagle (my Lakota name) which is how I will make myself known in all my future doings.
My grandparents, mother & father, and elders, raised me to be Lakota, Friendly. Considering the genocidal conditions that they were born into, their endeavors were truly heroic.
Lakota isn’t about race, ethnicity, or culture, but an everyday way of being in Life. It is said, We do everything through dreams. As our ancestors said, today’s Friendly People still say, Lakol Wicohan kin tewahila ca iyotiyewakiyelo, I love the Friendly Lifeways, so I have a hard time.
The Friendly Lifeway is how I live my life; it is how I make things: a voice, my lifestory, a poem, sculpture, ledger art, public art –relations.
Hau Mitakuye Owasin, All My Relations
Lemiye, This is me
Wanbli Koyake, Carries the Eagle
Minneapolis, August 23, 2011