DiggsWorldThe [R]Evolution Can Not Be Televised

The [R]Evolution Can Not Be Televised

Stsarting a tradition of Lakota poetry.

Many languages are losing their way
and their value to humanity everyday
This thing we know
Living languages must grow


These are the first known poems of record written in the Lakota language by Lakota people. The intent is to bring a tradition of poetry to Lakota culture as an additional tool of expression for Lakota speakers. It is a small contribution to the big effort of keeping the Lakota language, and the knowledge it contains, alive for all of humanity.

When we lose a language, we lose a little part of our collective humanity. Languages hold the history, experiences and knowledge of a people. Many things said in one language cannot be expressed in another so, when that language is lost, the ability to express that thing is lost.

Keeping a language alive can only be done if there are people speaking it. Learning a language requires learning to think in the language, rather than translate, because translations often fail to deliver accurate meaning. Poetry is even more difficult to translate so writing poetry in a language is a great way to practice expressing ones self in a language being learned.

I would love to try this with some other languages. As an artist in residence, I have been facilitating learning poetry in english and I facilitate a regular poetry group in the South Dakota prison system. But it is rare that one gets a chance to start a tradition of poetry in a language that has no such tradition.

Let me know what you think of the film. Please share it with friends and family. I hope it encourages more people to speak Lakota.