"Black Elk Speaks is the story of the Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during the momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and chose Neihardt to tell his story. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk's experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind." "This new edition features two additional essays by John G. Neihardt that further illuminate his experience with Black Elk; an essay by Alexis Petri, great-granddaughter of John G. Neihardt, that celebrates Neihardt's remarkable accomplishments; and a look at the legacy of the special relationship between Neihardt and Black Elk, written by Lori Utecht, editor of Knowledge and Opinion: Essays and Literary Criticism of John G. Neihardt."--BOOK JACKET.
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Winner of the Society of American Historians' Francis Parkman Prize Winner of the PEN / Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography Best Biography of 2016, True West magazine Winner of the Western Writers of America 2017 Spur Award, Best Western Biography Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography Long-listed for the Cundill History Prize One of the Best Books of 2016, The Boston Globe The epic life story of the Native American holy man who has inspired millions around the world Black Elk, the Native American holy man, is known to millions of readers around the world from his 1932 testimonial Black Elk Speaks. Adapted by the poet John G. Neihardt from a series of interviews with Black Elk and other elders at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Black Elk Speaks is one of the most widely read and admired works of American Indian literature. Cryptic and deeply personal, it has been read as a spiritual guide, a philosophical manifesto, and a text to be deconstructed—while the historical Black Elk has faded from view. In this sweeping book, Joe Jackson provides the definitive biographical account of a figure whose dramatic life converged with some of the most momentous events in the history of the American West. Born in an era of rising violence between the Sioux, white settlers, and U.S. government troops, Black Elk killed his first man at the Little Bighorn, witnessed the death of his second cousin Crazy Horse, and traveled to Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Upon his return, he was swept up in the traditionalist Ghost Dance movement and shaken by the Massacre at Wounded Knee. But Black Elk was not a warrior, instead accepting the path of a healer and holy man, motivated by a powerful prophetic vision that he struggled to understand. Although Black Elk embraced Catholicism in his later years, he continued to practice the old ways clandestinely and never refrained from seeking meaning in the visions that both haunted and inspired him. In Black Elk, Jackson has crafted a true American epic, restoring to its subject the richness of his times and gorgeously portraying a life of heroism and tragedy, adaptation and endurance, in an era of permanent crisis on the Great Plains.
Black Elk Speaks is the story of the Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during the momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and chose Neihardt to tell his story. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk’s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind. When Black Elk received his great vision, white settlers were invading the Lakotas’ homeland, decimating buffalo herds, and threatening to extinguish the Lakotas’ way of life. The Lakotas fought fiercely to retain their freedom and way of life, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee. Black Elk Speaks offers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time, however. As related by Neihardt, Black Elk’s searing visions of the unity of humanity and the earth have made this book a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, a history of a Native nation, or an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable. This new edition features two additional essays by John G. Neihardt that further illuminate his experience with Black Elk; an essay by Alexis Petri, great-granddaughter of John G. Neihardt, that celebrates Neihardt’s remarkable accomplishments; and a look at the legacy of the special relationship between Neihardt and Black Elk, written by Lori Utecht, editor of Knowledge and Opinion: Essays and Literary Criticism of John G. Neihardt. For more information on John G. Neihardt, visit www.neihardt.com
Not unlike Moses at Mt. Sinai, Black Elk had a powerful, predictive communication from the Higher Power. Instead of Moral and Ethical commandments, Black Elk's Vision was a forewarning of the Time that the World is in Now. Its core, the Blue Man of corruption, control and environmental disaster was exposed. Planetary Heating and Drought obviously exists for the observant. The blind deny, but each decade presents looming evidence. Unfortunately, Black Elk's Vision has been detoured, its ultimate message ignored. Black Elk Speaks IV challenges the previous versions of Black Elk Speaks. Eagle Man utilizes experienced Native American Spirituality to set humanity back on the right track of literary exploration. The Author has no quarrel with the original- Black Elk Speaks [I]. Ed was a close friend (kola) of the interpreter Ben Black Elk. Black Elk Speaks [II] and [III] are a conflicting matter that need to be challenged by a traditional Oglala Lakota (Sioux). -Jerry McGowan, author of The Place. Creator warned through Its Earth Powers. An honest White Man, John Neihardt, wrote the revelation truthfully to the world but academic White Men clouded the warning for nearly a century motivated by ego and their false sense of religious superiority. A Sioux warrior, my Dad, with no help from the NDN Academics had to come forward and bring forth the depth of the warning. -Paula K. Tonemah, M.A., author of Spirit Horse-Adventure in Crazy Horse Country. Decades went by before Black Elk spoke of the Vision, but before he began his revelation, he stated to John Neihardt, "I must tell you of my people before I tell you of my life so that you may trust me." In respect for Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks IV will follow his approach, relating Sioux history first. The times and subterfuge of governmental and obsessive religious control, dictated against Sioux people upon their federal reservations, resulted in fatal incarceration for some within the federally built Canton, SD Hiawatha Federal All-Indian Insane Asylum. Confinement was at the discretion of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Agent located at each Sioux reservation. Overzealous Missionaries were the agents' advisers. The real and active threat to one's family placing any Indian in confinement for persisting or championing their spiritual beliefs loomed largely. The resultant federal Ban of Native Spirituality along with their beseeching ceremonies due to lobbying missionaries should be adequate proof of church control on an Indian reservation. The stubborn Sioux went underground and today the old Spiritual Way has miraculously survived and thrives today. Missionaries no longer control Sioux reservations due mainly to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The major issue within the following text is the Spiritual Warning offered from an obvious Higher Power for not just tribal people but the entire planet. Black Elk observed this predicted force as the Blue Man of environmental destruction, including the impending detriment to our own agriculture and lifestyle. It had obvious capability as it was destroying and polluting all around it, including flora and fauna. Such implications of the Vision have been totally ignored by commentary within subsequent versions of the original Black Elk Speaks and related works and presentations. Black Elk's so termed 'conversion', however, remains too misleading, detouring and diversionary from the disastrous Climate Change which is now visibly apparent worldwide. Hence, Black Elk Speaks IV, from a traditional espousing Teton Lakota (Sioux) had to be written to challenge earlier errant, diluting, related works. No challenge is directed toward John Neihardt. He simply wrote truthfully from his long interview with Black Elk. This is further supported from my personal interviews with Neihardt's daughter Hilda, and my personal relationship with Black Elk's son (Ben Black Elk) - the interpreter of every word of Black Elk Speaks.
Ambitious and provocative, Interpreting the Legacy: John Neihardt and Black Elk Speaks is a new study of the classic spiritual text that is sure to spark debate. Neihardt's work has recently been critiqued by scholars who maintain that the author filtered and corrupted Black Elk's teachings through a European spiritual and political lens. In this book, Brian Holloway offers a rather different view, making a convincing case that Neihardt quite consciously attempted to use his literary craftsmanship to provide the reader with direct and immediate access to the teachings of the Oglala elder. Using Neihardt's original handwritten notes and early manuscript drafts, Holloway demonstrates the poet's careful and deliberate re-creation of Black Elk's spiritual world in order to induce a transcendent experience in the reader. Through exhaustive research into Neihardt's biographical materials, published philosophical and metaphysical writings, and volumes of taped lectures, Holloway examines the sources of the book's production as well as the reactions to and the implications of his literary portrayal of the spiritual world of the Oglala. Restoring Neihardt's reputation as a faithful witness to Black Elk's sacred landscape, Interpreting the Legacy: John Neihardt and Black Elk Speaks will be of interest to Neihardt scholars and students of literature, religious studies, and Native American studies.
Black Elk of the Sioux has been recognized as one of the truly remarkable men of his time in the matter of religious belief and practice. Shortly before his death in August, 1950, when he was the "keeper of the sacred pipe," he said, "It is my prayer that, through our sacred pipe, and through this book in which I shall explain what our pipe really is, peace may come to those peoples who can understand, and understanding which must be of the heart and not of the head alone. Then they will realize that we Indians know the One true God, and that we pray to Him continually." Black Elk was the only qualified priest of the older Oglala Sioux still living when The Sacred Pipe was written. This is his book: he gave it orally to Joseph Epes Brown during the latter's eight month's residence on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where Black Elk lived. Beginning with the story of White Buffalo Cow Woman's first visit to the Sioux to give them the sacred pip~, Black Elk describes and discusses the details and meanings of the seven rites, which were disclosed, one by one, to the Sioux through visions. He takes the reader through the sun dance, the purification rite, the "keeping of the soul," and other rites, showing how the Sioux have come to terms with God and nature and their fellow men through a rare spirit of sacrifice and determination. The wakan Mysteries of the Siouan peoples have been a subject of interest and study by explorers and scholars from the period of earliest contact between whites and Indians in North America, but Black Elk's account is without doubt the most highly developed on this religion and cosmography. The Sacred Pipe, published as volume thirty-six in the Civilization of the American Indian Series, will be greeted enthusiastically by students of comparative religion, ethnologists, historians, philosophers, and everyone interested in American Indian life.