Black Elk, Lakota Visionary The Oglala Holy Man and Sioux Tradition

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-04-07
  • Publisher: World Wisdom

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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.

Author Biography

Harry Oldmeadow was, until his retirement in 2012, Coordinator of Philosophy and Religious Studies at La Trobe University Bendigo. His previous publications include Journeys East: 20th Century Western Encounters with Eastern Religious Traditions, Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy, and Traditionalism: Religion in the Light of the Perennial Philosophy. He lives in Bendigo, Australia.

Charles Trimble was former Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians and principal founder of the American Indian Press Association. He is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2013. The author of Iyeska, he is now retired and lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Charles Trimble xi
Introduction xiii
1. Nomadic Peoples and the Mark of Cain 1
2. The World of the Lakota 15
3. A Sacred Voice is Calling: 33
The Life of Black Elk
4. The Sacred Hoop and the Flowering Tree: 57
Black Elk's Great Vision
5. Preserving Black Elk's Legacy: 75
John G. Neihardt, Joseph Epes Brown, and Their Critics
6. Lakota Traditionalist and/or Catholic Catechist? 99
7. The Holy Man from the East 115
Conclusion: From Harney Peak 133
Appendix I: Excerpts from Letters of Joseph Epes Brown 145
Appendix II: Prayer Given to Fr. Gall by Black Elk 162
Appendix III: Selections from Letters of Frithjof Schuon 163
Notes 175
Sources 205
Acknowledgments 216
Index 217
Biographical Notes 225

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