Home » Black Elks Story: Distinguishing Its Lakota Purpose by Julian Rice
Black Elks Story: Distinguishing Its Lakota Purpose Julian Rice

Black Elks Story: Distinguishing Its Lakota Purpose

Julian Rice

Published March 1st 1994
ISBN : 9780826314970
Paperback
165 pages
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 About the Book 

Black Elk Speaks, the book of John G. Neihardts interviews with the Lakota visionary, is one of the most successful popularizations of Native American religious thought. Using the original transcripts of the interviews, Rice points beyond Black ElkMoreBlack Elk Speaks, the book of John G. Neihardts interviews with the Lakota visionary, is one of the most successful popularizations of Native American religious thought. Using the original transcripts of the interviews, Rice points beyond Black Elk Speaks to an increased awareness of difference between Christianity and the Lakota spiritual tradition. To understand these differences Black Elk must be cleanly disentangled from Neihardt. Neihardt was a Christian poet with a typological belief in providential progress, culminating in the enlightenment of all peoples in universal love. Black Elk was more complex, at various times using the language of a Lakota traditionalist, a Catholic catechist, or a synthesis of both. Rice argues that Black Elk retained throughout his life the priorities of his original Lakota identity as healer, visionary, and warrior and held to one constant purpose - the transmission of the Lakota ways to the Lakota people. This indispensable study is the first to discuss thoroughly all the major Black Elk material and the various critical approaches to it. The result is a rich dialogue with Black Elk and Lakota culture that will be of value to literary critics, anthropologists, and other students of Native American culture.