Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux

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University of Nebraska Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 230 pages
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Named one of the ten best spiritual books of the twentieth century by Philip Zaleski of HarperSanFrancisco, Black Elk Speaks is the acclaimed story of Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during the momentous, twilight years of the nineteenth century. Black Elk grew up in a time when white settlers were invading the Lakotas' homeland, decimating buffalo herds and threatening to extinguish the Lakotas' way of life. Black Elk and other Lakotas fought back, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee.

Beautifully told by the celebrated poet and writer John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks offers much more than a life story. Black Elk's profound and arresting religious visions of the unity of humanity and the world around him have transformed his account into a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as a collaborative autobiography, a history of a Native American nation, or an enduring spiritual testament for all humankind, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable.

This special edition features all three prefaces to Black Elk Speaks that John G. Neihardt wrote at different points in his life, a map of Black Elk's world, a reset text, a listing of Lakota words newly translated and reproduced using the latest orthographic standards, and color paintings by Lakota artist Standing Bear that have not been widely available for decades.

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Fascinating book

User Review  - marrii -

I read this book a few years ago it is an actual account of Black Elks life from childhood to adulthood. It describes the indians deep spirituality and the visions of Black Elk. It also tells the ... Read full review

A book that should be in every collection

User Review  - thomasomaha -

This book shares a history and a tradition as well as many facets of native american faith doctrine and culture. It is a one on one conversation with Black Elk who was related to Crazy Horse its very ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Black Elk (1863 1950), Oglala Lakota Sioux holy man and author of Black Elk Speaks.

Internationally known for "Black Elk Speaks," John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) was a noted author in several genres. His essays and literary criticism are collected in "Knowledge and Opinion" (Nebraska 2002).

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