Black Elk Speaks Quotes by Black Elk
Black Elk Speaks: The Great Vision (2)
Black Elk begins telling Neihardt his life story, ending this chapter with an account of his first vision at the age of five. He relates the events of his early childhood in the context of increasing tension between American Indians and the whites who wanted to settle the West. He introduces two older friends who interrupt his story to supply some of the details that he does not know or has forgotten.
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Le vol du sac While not an outright fraud like Little Tree , written by a white Alabamian with ties to the Ku Klux Klan 2 , or Red Fox , in which someone posing as a Sioux invented a life for himself 3 , it turns out that Black Elk Speaks is not true to the full life of its protagonist. While Neihardt felt great affection and respect for Black Elk, he did not really understand him, and he made the highly complex religious figure into a simplistic if sympathetic symbol of the defeat of the traditional Indian way of life. Black Elk deserves better than that, hence the efforts of scholars like Michael Steltenkamp, Clyde Holler, and Raymond DeMallie, following up on McCluskey and Castro, to identify the real Black Elk as opposed to the mythic figure depicted by Neihardt 4. Black Elk, however, seems to have found a permanent place in the religious canon, ranking with the most influential American religious figures, men like theologian William James and Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons. Since Ernest Renan there has been an industry devoted to finding the historical Jesus; recently a similar enterprise, though on a much smaller scale, has grown up around Black Elk.
Summary Black Elk begins telling Neihardt his life story, ending this chapter with an During the first three years of Black Elk's life, his tribe was increasingly.
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Black Elk thinks about the four-rayed blossoming herb he saw in his first great vision and in the dog vision. He and One Side go out to find it and, after singing a sacred song, Black Elk sees it growing in a gulch. He digs it up and brings it home. Cuts-to-Pieces comes and asks him to attend to his little boy, who is seriously ill. Black Elk performs his first healing, using the herb and a cup, a pipe, and an eagle bone whistle, representing the sacred objects of his early vision. Singing, he calls on every power he knows to heal the sick boy.
In this unusually long chapter, Black Elk has a vision at the age of nine. There is nothing to report from his life between the ages of five and nine. During this time, the white men had moved away from Indian encampments to live along the newly built Union Pacific Railroad. The building of that railroad and its subsequent expansion into the Transcontinental Railroad had divided the huge grazing ground of the bison into a north and south half. Half of the herd was more than Black Elk's people could use anyway. Black Elk is eating when he hears a voice telling him to hurry because his Grandfathers are waiting.