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 through John G. Neihardt in Black Elk Speaks, have performed a severe function in shaping the way local american citizens and others view the previous, current, and way forward for Native America. those conversations with the descendents of Black Elk supply an intimate examine existence at the Pine Ridge Reservation and clean views at the non secular, financial, and political possibilities and demanding situations dealing with the Lakota buyers. as well as revealing extra approximately Black Elk the healer, the relatives additionally presents glimpses of Black Elk as a relatives guy, instructor, and influential ancestor.
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Extra resources for Black Elk lives: conversations with the Black Elk family
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. We Indians believe if we want to know—just like the story I told you, that boy went, took the pipe, and he went to lament. He found it out, but he never told.
Every time we’d come over the hill in a wagon to the school, Olivia started crying. She really let out a yell; it was real loud. She didn’t want to go to school. O: One time we stayed there [at school] for Christmas, because my folks couldn’t aﬀord to come and get us. Everybody went home for Christmas, and there were maybe ﬁve or six that stayed there. Everybody got a porcelain doll. We all got dolls in boxes. I opened my box, and here was a little colored doll. The other dolls were all little white dolls, and mine was the only little dark doll.
In the old days, they made little bags out of hides—called parﬂeche—and that’s what they put it in. Everything was wild, and they went way up in the Black Hills to pick berries. We knew of a place in the Black Hills where we could get raspberries. They were real good, and you just picked them and made wóžapi. E: For sweeteners, they used honey they found in trees. We were competing with the bear people! O: And then they had wild cauliﬂower. You had to pick it at a certain time.