Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, The Premier Edition available in Paperback
The famous story of the Lakota healer and visionary, Nicholas Black Elk.
Widely hailed as a spiritual classic, this inspirational and unfailingly powerful story reveals the life and visions of the Lakota healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and the tragic history of his Sioux people during the epic closing decades of the Old West. In 1930, the aging Black Elk met a kindred spirit, the famed poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881–1973) on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Lakota elder chose Neihardt to share his visions and life with the world. Neihardt understood and today Black Elk is known to all.
Black Elk’s remarkable great vision came to him during a time of decimation and loss, when outsiders were stealing the Lakotas’ land, slaughtering buffalo, and threatening their age-old way of life. As Black Elk remembers all too well, the Lakotas, led by such legendary men as Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, fought unceasingly for their freedom, winning a world-renowned victory at the Little Bighorn and suffering unspeakable losses at Wounded Knee.
Black Elk Speaks however is more than the epic history of a valiant Native nation. It is beloved as a spiritual classic because of John Neihardt’s sensitivity to Black Elk’s resounding vision of the wholeness of earth, her creatures, and all of humanity. Black Elk Speaks is a once-in-a-lifetime read: the moving story of a young Lakota boy before the reservation years, the unforgettable history of an American Indian nation, or an enduring spiritual message for us all.
The premier edition features the first ever annotated edition of Black Elk’s story, done by renowned Lakota scholar Raymond Demallie, the original Standing Bear illustrations and new commentary on them, new maps of the world of Black Elk Speaks, and a revised index.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface to the 1932 Edition
Preface to the 1961 Edition
Preface to the 1972 Edition
1. The Offering of the Pipe
2. Early Boyhood
3. The Great Vision
4. The Bison Hunt
5. At the Soldiers’ Town
6. High Horse’s Courting
7. Wasichus in the Hills
8. The Fight with Three Stars
9. The Rubbing Out of Long Hair
10. Walking the Black Road
11. The Killing of Crazy Horse
12. Grandmother’s Land
13. The Compelling Fear
14. The Horse Dance
15. The Dog Vision
16. Heyoka Ceremony
17. The First Cure
18. The Powers of the Bison and the Elk
19. Across the Big Water
20. The Spirit Journey
21. The Messiah
22. Visions of the Other World
23. Bad Trouble Coming
24. The Butchering at Wounded Knee
25. The End of the Dream
26. Neihardt’s Postscript
Appendix 1. Letter from Neihardt to Black Elk, 6 November 1930
The Drawings by Black Elk’s Friend, Standing Bear
John g. Neihardt and Nicholas Black Elk
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This biography by Neihardt is very enlightening into the life of an Oglala Medicine Man. The audience begins with the story of the peace pipe and into the life of Black Elk. Black Elk's visions are stunning and the pictures in this special edition enhance the story. You may want to glance at the notes in the margin as they help explain some of the instances where Neihardt may not have had the proper translation or added to the biography to make the text flow a little better. The text also recounts the Battle of Wounded Knee from the eyes of the Sioux. Think your history textbook taught you everything you should know about Native Americans? Try this instead.
Black Elk tells about life in the last great days of the plains Indians and how that came to an end. Includes mystical dreams, etc.
Black Elk Speaks John G. Neihardt Why I picked up this book: Somebody I know brought this book into clinic and asked me to read it.Why I finished this book: When I began reading this book there was a lot of mysticism that I tried to appreciate but my memory of my own interactions with another medicine man tried to obscure my reading. I kept reading and discovered very interesting experiences of this Ogalala Soiux man with such things as buffalo hunt, spending time at a White man¿s military camp, time at war, and others that I really got into. It was fun to hear this man¿s perspective and wanted to see what else he would share with me.Thoughts: I¿m glad I read this book. I¿m glad I got his perspective of the world and how things changed for him and even though I did not understand all of it (the spiritualism) I really enjoyed spending the time in this book.Rating: I¿d give it a 4 out of 5 star rating because I appreciate the various aspects on this Native American as he recounted different situations as he grew up.