Black Elk Speaks Essay

1310 words - 5 pages

Black Elk Speaks

The division in the world among the races always was and will be one of the
biggest issues that the people have to deal with and solve. Many cultures, Indian culture is one of the examples, were affected by the persecution of the people who were though to be “superior” to others. Indian culture was persecuted by whites, which wanted to wipe off the Indian civilization from the face of the world. The Native Americans wanted the same as anyone would, peace and freedom for their people. The Native Americans did not consider “white way of living righteous” for them, they were spiritual and had a different outlook on life, and did not want interference from outside world.

In the book Black Elk Speaks, being the life story of a Holy Man of the Oglala
Sioux as told through John G. Neihardt, an Indian boy then a warrior, and Holy Man
describes the life his people had in the lands that belonged to them that were seized by
invaders.

As a little boy, Black Elk witnessed his village being invaded by Wasichus, a term
that was used by Indians to designate the white man, but having no reference to the color of his skin. Black Elk describes the life of Indians, which is very spiritual and could be very unattainable to understand to the naked eye of a regular person who did not know all the Indians’ beliefs. While still young, at the age of nine, Black Elk had a vision where he was the leader of all his people. Where he was given a gift from Great Spirits to save the Indian civilization by driving a way the Wasichus from their native land. After the dream, he was courageous and willing to go fight the barbarians.

The deep spiritual significance of the dream came to him when he was older and wiser.
The rituals and traditions of the Indians evince their beliefs in spirits and afterlife. Indians believed that there would be a better life for them after they die, because many of them did not see a way out, but people were still fighting for their lives.

Growing up Black Elk and his friends were already playing the games of killing the whites and they waited impatiently to kill and scalp the first Wasichu, and bring the scalp to the village showing how strong and brave they were. One could only imagine what were the reasons that Indians were bloody-minded and brutal to the whites. After seeing their own villages, where they were born and where the soul was, burn down to ashes, their hatred and dispiteous actions towards whites just grew stronger and stronger, and all they wanted was revenge and death of whites.

Throughout Black Elk’s life, their community was moved from one place to another, when they reached other destinations after awhile they had to fight whites and to live through loses and hard times. Black Elk always had the visions of the people dancing and the Grandfathers that were symbolizing villages in many dreams that he had to save. By telling the dreams to the village, they powered...

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