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Native American Story of Black Elk

Black Elk tells a story about his family, his tribe, his people, and the circle of life. But most of all Black Elk speaks about his life and his spiritual journey. This is a story of a shaman and as he speaks we go deeper and deeper into his vision from his colourful words we are able to catch a glimpse of Native American religion and their spirituality. By the symbols and Black Elk’s poetic words, we are able to get a clear idea of what his religion is about and how it affects them in their daily life.

Black Elk speaks about his culture and his traditional way of life. Appreciating nature and giving thanks to mother earth is what the Native American strives on and lives for. Unlike the white man who came to America looking to control and take over, using all the natural resources and taking what is in front of their eyes, the Native American is about balance and taking enough so there would be more for tomorrow. Appreciating earth and nature is where most of their religion and symbols come from. The buffalo hide is a symbol of all the good things in life.

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The Native American uses buffalo and bison for everything, from food to clothing, they do not waste anything. The eagle on the other hand is a symbol for lifting the spirit. Because of their soaring and mountainous flight. The morning star is another symbol that is important in their culture. The one, who sees the morning star, is the one with wisdom. Seeing Venus is a symbol of attaining wisdom.

The Native Americans not only celebrates nature but spirits as well. They celebrate the west, which is the colour of black. It symbolizing rain and giving life. The north is the colour white, it symbolizes wind and the winter. The east is the colour red, and it symbolizes the sun and the summertime. The south is the colour yellow and it represents warmth. These are the four spirits. The Native American uses chants to go into a spiritual stage to contact the spirits. Having leaders and medicine men chanting and going into “dream time” is a big part of Native American culture.

Black Elk for most of the book was caught between the ecstasy of his vision and the tragic world in which his people had to experience from the white men. The American government was destroying the traditions and culture of the Native Americans. Moving the Native Americans around and taking away their land is a slap to the face. Forcing the Native American to practice American tradition is a punch to the stomach. “It is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.”

This is said by Black Elk and is saying that you can not let the white man blind you. You must follow your heart and not your eyes. If you let the white man take over, then you will lose all of your traditional values. The darkness in the quote is the white man trying to blind you with contracts and too good to be true deals, and if you follow what the white man is saying you will lose all of your ethnic values and traditions.

“Who shall see the tree shall see much more.” The tree symbolizes life. It is the center; it is not for just one but for everyone. It shall be shared and should be peaceful. And the only way we could maintain the land is not to destroy it but to live peacefully as nature intended. The tree symbolizes life, land, and peace. And when you see that the circle of life and culture, you shall see much more.

This is a story about his culture and the thought process of the Oglala Sioux. Black Elk grew up in the way of his people, seeing the leaders in a time where they fought for their lives against whites. But most of all he was a spiritual leader for his people. He tried his best to prevent the disaster that seemed to overtake his people, but according to his own account, he had failed. His description of his agony and anger, and how he thought he had led his people down.

The Battle of Little Big Horn, Black Hill, and Wounded Knee was the beginning of the white domination. This was the start of the fall down for Black Elk’s people. Their reservation, their land was taken away from them because of the white man. The white man had found gold metal and they were forced to get out of the way. They were separated and forced to live on little islands. They were given unwanted land. Some remained traditional, but most were influenced by the whites.

“A nation I would make over.” This is a strong quote by Black Elk. It is saying that he would try to bring back his people. He wants to bring back his traditional ways and not let the white man interfere. Black Elk wants to try to make over the nation and bring back the traditional lifestyle. Black Elk had a vision for a new nation for his people.

This is a story of a holy man who goes deep into his spiritual quest to find answers and gets in touch with his spiritual self. He brings us along into his vision and describes to us with his poetic voice about his dream time. This is a story about his family, his tribe, his people, and the circle of life. But most of all this is a story about his life and the history of his people.

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Native American Story of Black Elk. (2021, Feb 14). Retrieved June 14, 2021, from https://essayscollector.com/essays/native-american-story-of-black-elk/