Cover image for The Black Elk reader
The Black Elk reader
Holler, Clyde.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse : Syracuse University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 370 pages ; 23 cm
Black Elk passes on the power of the Earth: Black Elk's purpose and use of Lakota literary tradition in creating Black Elk speaks / Ruth J. Heflin -- Speaking through others: Black Elk speaks as testimonial literature / R. Todd Wise -- Black Elk's significance in American culture / Amanda Porterfield -- Akicita of the thunder: horses in Black Elk's vision / Julian Rice -- John Neihardt and Black Elk speaks: a personal reminiscence / George W. Linden -- Black Elk and John G. Neihardt / Hilda Neihardt and R. Todd Wise -- A retrospective on Black Elk: holy man of the Oglala / Michael F. Steltenkamp -- A postcolonial reading of Black Elk / Dale Stover -- Just what is cultural appropriation, anyway? The Ethics of reading Black Elk speaks / Frances W. Kaye -- Inipi, the purification rite (sweat lodge), and Black Elk's account in The sacred pipe / Gregory P. Fields -- Black Elk and the spiritual significance of Paha sapa (the Black Hills) / Alexandra Witkin-New Holy -- Dakota philosophy / George W. Linden -- The great vision of Black Elk as literary ritual / R. Todd Wise -- The new missiology and Black Elk's individuation / Paul B. Steinmetz -- Black Elk and the Jesuits / Ross Enochs -- Sources and suggestions for further study of Black Elk and Lakota culture / Raymond A. Bucko
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.O3 B483 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A compilation of essays by authorities on Black Elk. The introduction explores his life and texts, and the essays demonstrate Black Elk's relevance to today's scholarly discussions, and consider his work from postcolonial, anthropological and cultural perspectives.

Author Notes

Raymond A. Bucko, S.J., is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Le Moyne College
Ross Enochs is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Marist College in New York
Gregory P. Fields is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Ruth J. Heflin is Assistant Professor at Kansas City Kansas Community College
Frances W. Kaye is editor of the Great Plains Quarterly and Professor of Literature at the University of Nebraska
George W. Linden is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Hilda Neihardt is Chairman of the Board of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.
Amanda Porterfield is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming
Michael F. Steltenkamp is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies at Wheeling Jesuit University
Dale Stover is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha
R. Todd Wise is an instructor in the Department of Religion at Augustana College
Alexandra Witkin-New Holy is Assistant Professor at the Center for Native American Studies at Montana State University-Bozeman

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

For many years, John G. Neihardt's influential Black Elk Speaks (1931), which explored the life of Lakota spiritual leader Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950), was accepted as the last word on the Lakota religion. Recently, however, some doubts have surfaced: just how accurate is Black Elk Speaks, and how should it be interpreted? What cultural and personal factors were at work in its creation? Editor Holler (Black Elk's Religion) has gathered together articles on Black Elk by a number of notable scholars. The author includes literary, anthropological, and theological analyses, ranging from a comparison of Black Elk Speaks and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun to an examination of how Black Elk's personal beliefs combined Lakota religion with Catholicism. The book also features an extensive bibliography. Because of its scholarly emphasis, this collection is recommended for academic collections only.DGwen M. Gregory, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Holler intended this collection to represent the "entire spectrum" of interpretations of Black Elk. By "Black Elk" Holler refers not only to Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Ogalala Sioux, as told to John G. Neihardt (Flaming Rainbow) (1932), but also to When the Tree Flowered (1951), John Neihardt's account of traditional lore, and The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (1953), ed. and adapted by Joseph Epes Brown from a translation rendered by Black Elk's son. The essays in the volume come at Black Elk from several different disciplinary directions--anthropology, literature, religion, philosophy, history, ethnic studies--and offer widely differing assessments of the subject. If these offerings reflect current thinking, it is clear that the Black Elk literature is no longer seen as a firsthand view of Native American religious and philosophic thought, but rather as documents valuable in and of themselves for the impact they have made on the American psyche. An excellent bibliographic essay and works cited invite further study. All collections supporting the study of Native American literature and history. J. W. Parins University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Table of Contents

Ruth J. HeflinR. Todd WiseAmanda PorterfieldJulian RiceGeorge W. LindenHilda Neihardt and R. Todd WiseMichael F. SteltenkampDale StoverFrances W. KayeGregory P. FieldsAlexandra Witkin-New HolyGeorge W. LindenR. Todd WisePaul B. Steinmetz, S.J.Ross EnochsRaymond A. Bucko, S.J.
Black Elk at Manderson, South Dakota
Contributorsp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Part 1 Black Elk Speaks in Literary and Historical Perspective
1. Black Elk Passes on the Power of the Earth: Black Elk's Purpose and Use of Lakota Literary Tradition in Creating Black Elk Speaksp. 3
2. Speaking Through Others: Black Elk Speaks as Testimonial Literaturep. 19
3. Black Elk's Significance in American Culturep. 39
4. Akicita of the Thunder: Horses in Black Elk's Visionp. 59
Part 2 Textuality, Cultural Appropriation, and Outright Theft
5. John Neihardt and Black Elk Speaks: A Personal Reminiscencep. 79
6. Black Elk and John G. Neihardtp. 87
7. A Retrospective on Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglalap. 104
8. A Postcolonial Reading of Black Elkp. 127
9. Just What Is Cultural Appropriation, Anyway?: The Ethics of Reading Black Elk Speaksp. 147
10. Inipi, the Purification Rite (Sweat Lodge), and Black Elk's Account in The Sacred Pipep. 169
11. Black Elk and the Spiritual Significance of Paha Sapa (the Black Hills)p. 188
Part 3 Philosophical, Theological, and Religious Studies Perspectives
12. Dakota Philosophyp. 209
13. The Great Vision of Black Elk as Literary Ritualp. 241
14. The New Missiology and Black Elk's Individuationp. 262
15. Black Elk and the Jesuitsp. 282
Part 4 Reading about Black Elk
16. Sources and Suggestions for Further Study of Black Elk and Lakota Culturep. 305
Works Citedp. 325
Indexp. 365