Black Elk, Lakota Visionary: The Oglala Holy Man and Sioux Tradition
World Wisdom, Incorporated, 2018 - 224 pages
Black Elk (1863-1950), the Lakota holy man, is beloved by millions of readers around the world. The book Black Elk Speaks is the most widely-read Native American testimony of the last century and a key work in our understanding of American Indian traditions. In Black Elk, Lakota Visionary, Harry Oldmeadow draws on recently discovered sources and in-depth research to provide a major re-assessment of Black Elk's life and work. The author explores Black Elk's mystical visions, his controversial engagement with Catholicism, and his previously unrecognized attempts to preserve and revive ancestral Sioux beliefs and practices. Oldmeadow's lively and highly readable account also examines the controversies that have surrounded Black Elk and his collaborators, John G. Neihardt and Joseph Epes Brown. Oldmeadow judiciously explains why both Black Elk Speaks and The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux are to be ranked amongst the most profound spiritual documents of the twentieth century. Black Elk, Lakota Visionary will command the attention of every reader who is interested in the American Indians, providing fascinating insights into their ancestral traditions prior to the reservation era, the subsequent destruction and revival of their traditional ways, and the vital lessons which the contemporary world might draw from their spiritual legacy.