Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition

By John G. Neihardt | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 8
Neihardt and Black Elk

Lori Utecht

A casual observer looking at the circumstances that brought John G. Neihardt and Nicholas Black Elk together in the summer of 1930 might use the word “coincidence” to describe the encounter that ultimately resulted in the book Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. It is clear, however, from the record of the two participants and other witnesses that neither Black Elk nor Neihardt would have used such a word to describe anything about their relationship.

Neihardt, an established author, had traveled to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to research material for the final song in his epic A Cycle of the West. He was looking for firsthand accounts from old men who had been a part of the Ghost Dance religious movement and had witnessed the massacre at Wounded Knee. Black Elk, an old man at the time of their meeting, was no longer living the life of a traditional medicine man and was, in fact, a visible leader in the Catholic Church on the reservation. Though neither anticipated the direction their conversations would take, both soon recognized that they had been brought together to fulfill a sacred obligation: bringing the story of Black Elk’s vision, which had lain slumbering for nearly half a century, to the world outside of Black Elk’s tribal community.

Black Elk Speaks tells the story of the life of the Oglala Holy Man, born in 1863 into a time of turbulence for his people, the Lakotas. Readers learn of his early life on the Great Plains, his relationships among the tribe (including his relationship with his second cousin Crazy Horse), the story of his great vision, the battles won and lost, travels to Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and the tragedy of Wounded Knee, which brought tribal life as he had known it to an end.

Neihardt’s 1961 preface to the book also provides information about what led to the encounter—his research for the final piece of his cycle, The Song of the Messiah. Neihardt explains that he had the historical details but felt he could not adequately present the story without getting

-282-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 369

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.