Black Elk lives: conversations with the Black Elk family by Esther Black Elk DeSersa, Aaron DeSersa Jr., Clifton

By Esther Black Elk DeSersa, Aaron DeSersa Jr., Clifton DeSersa, Olivia Black Elk Pourier, Lori Holm Utecht, Hilda Martinsen Neihardt, Charles Trimble

The tale and teachings of Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950), first recorded by way of John G. Neihardt in Black Elk Speaks, have performed a severe position in shaping the way local americans and others view the previous, current, and way forward for Native America. those conversations with the descendents of Black Elk supply an intimate examine lifestyles at the Pine Ridge Reservation and clean views at the spiritual, financial, and political possibilities and demanding situations dealing with the Lakota buyers. as well as revealing extra approximately Black Elk the healer, the relations additionally presents glimpses of Black Elk as a kinfolk guy, instructor, and influential ancestor.

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Black Elk lives: conversations with the Black Elk family

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One of them says he’s right. The black horse stands for the black people. The white horse—there is a horse dance in here, and the white is for the north, stands for the white man. And the east, the red man, that is the Indian. The yellow is the Japanese and Chinese. And there is only one at the horse dance. When we get into that, there’s only one horse in there; they’re all going to come together. Well, what do you say? How long did I talk? Well, as we go along, this is quite a session. You know my dad, all these books that he wrote— at first, he was reluctant about it.

But after the soldiers marched away from their dirty work, a heavy snow began to fall. The wind came up in the night. There was a big blizzard, and it grew very cold. The snow drifted deep in the crooked gulch, and it was one long grave of butchered women and children and babies, who had never done any harm and were only trying to run away. . [–] And so it was all over. I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young.

Because other tribes belong to us, and at one time they dispersed, so we say, in the seven camps. At one time they got along fine, and then they couldn’t get along, so they decided they must disperse, and they claim that’s the way your other tribes came in, so we don’t talk like we used to; our language differs as we go along. To prove that—the Osages, we’ve never contacted them as      long as I remember, as long as the old-timers told me, they never contacted them, but they talk like we do.

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