The music of indigenous communities is not just about singing and dancing, but also their relationship with nature and spirituality. Isha Foundation’s home-grown band Sounds of Isha recreated exactly that with “Yeha-Noha”, a song that blends perfectly the depth and richness of a centuries-old musical art form with elements of Indian classical music.
For millennia, indigenous peoples have shared a deep intimacy with nature and the life around them, particularly birds and animals. Yeha-Noha, a chant sung by indigenous peoples of the Navajo Nation – one of the largest native nations in the United States – is sung in winter as part of the ancient and traditional Navajo Shoe Game that is said to have been played between animals.
The troupe unveiled their music video for their new song on October 19 on YouTube. From iconic monuments such as Crazy Horse in South Dakota and Mato Tipila in Wyoming, to scenic views of the Zion National Park in Utah and the Mississippi River in Missouri, the video features Sadhguru exploring picturesque landscapes and attempting to understand the profundity and culture of Native American people.
The video also captures the majestic Meramec Caverns (Missouri), Old Faithful Geyser (Wyoming), Eternal Flame (Cherokee Nation) and other notable landmarks.
Sounds of Isha members are no strangers to the culture and traditions of indigenous communities.
“I had a chance to learn this chant from my friend. So I was very excited about making this song. Their way of living is very beautiful because the Indigenous Peoples are so in tune with their natural surroundings. And when you come in contact with these people, you connect so easily. You see that life can be so simple and joyful. Even though they are happy, they are still fighting to keep their culture alive. For me, it was a great opportunity to express our musicality,” said one of the singers.
“What I observed was their music was very simple but very powerful at the same time. They are very close with natural sounds so they try to replicate this in their music. Every time I listen to their music, I can feel the music,” she added.
“I was really impressed by the sonority of the words used in the chant. For me, this song brings me to a good state of mind. I also admire how the Native Peoples work with vowels, and express using their mouth,” said another singer.
Sadhguru embarked on a unique 10,000-mile journey across the country to explore ancient spiritual processes and the energies that impact the lives of Native Americans. En route, the spiritual leader met with Hollywood actor Will Smith, musician Taboo from Black Eyed Peas, among others.