Black Elk, Lakota Visionary: The Oglala Holy Man and Sioux Tradition


Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
World Wisdom Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 0.7 X 8.9 inches | 0.8 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Harry Oldmeadow was, until his retirement in 2012, Coordinator of Philosophy and Religious Studies at La Trobe University Bendigo. His previous publications include Journeys East: 20th Century Western Encounters with Eastern Religious Traditions, Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy, and Traditionalism: Religion in the Light of the Perennial Philosophy. He lives in Bendigo, Australia. Charles Trimble was former Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians and principal founder of the American Indian Press Association. He is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2013. The author of Iyeska, he is now retired and lives in Omaha, Nebraska.


"Historian Oldmeadow (The Betrayal of Tradition) skillfully considers the legacy of Black Elk (1863-1950), a Lakota holy man who is best known through poet John Neihardt's 1932 biography Black Elk Speaks. Oldmeadow balances contemporary research with presentations of the debate about the facts of Black Elk's life and legacy, including his working relationships with non-Native collaborators who documented his words. . . . Readers interested in Black Elk will find this book an effective synthesis of the scholarship on the mystic's life."--Publishers Weekly
"Anyone familiar with Native American history and culture knows Black Elk Speaks, a key piece central to understanding American Indians; but Black Elk, Lakota Visionary takes a different approach in re-assessing Black Elk's life and work, exploring his mystical visions, encounters with Catholicism, and his testament to spiritual realities as they relate to ancestral Sioux belief systems. From interpretations of Black Elk Speaks to how to study his spiritual perspective, Black Elk, Lakota Visionary would best be used as a companion to the classic, offering many viewpoints and insights key to appreciating Black Elk's philosophy and spiritual wisdom."--Midwest Book Review
"Black Elk stands out in bold relief. The dazzling clarity of his visions has incited the spiritually minded everywhere. Thank you Harry Oldmeadow for bringing us closer to the heart of Black Elk and his universal vision."--Kevin Locke, Lakota cultural ambassador, hoop-dancer, traditional storyteller, recording artist, and educator
"There have been many books written about the Lakota holy man known to the world as Black Elk. However, none have done a more thorough job of assessing the entirety of his life--including his far from naïve engagement with Catholicism--than this extremely readable volume by Harry Oldmeadow. I recommend it to anyone interested not only in Black Elk himself but in the stubbornly enduring nature of Native American spiritual life."--Joseph Bruchac, author of Keepers of the Earth and Our Stories Remember
"This is an extraordinary book. Oldmeadow's groundbreaking interpretation takes Black Elk studies to a profound new level. His nuanced analysis weaves together the many distinctive strands into a cohesive whole--one that forms a particularly rich and intimate perspective on the place of Black Elk across disciplines. Black Elk, Lakota Visionary truly completes the hoop and creates a depth and dimensionality that leap off the page."--Wilhelm K. Meya, Executive Director, Lakota Language Consortium
"This detailed study of Black Elk explores the complex relationships that this sacred healer had with John Neihardt, Joseph Brown, and Frithjof Schuon. Oldmeadow describes the intertwined lives of these men and their controversial collaborations with respect and insight."--John A. Grim, Yale University, author of The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians
"A significant contribution to the Black Elk literature. Especially valuable for new information on Joseph Epes Brown and the composition of The Sacred Pipe."--Clyde Holler, author of Black Elk's Religion: The Sun Dance and Lakota Catholicism and editor of The Black Elk Reader
"Black Elk, Lakota Visionary studies the debate among scholarly specialists as they reconstruct the history behind the life story and Great Vision of the wicasa wakan. Their exchange of views is counterbalanced by an examination of Lakota spirituality in relationship to Western and Eastern religious traditions. Exposure to this discourse will inspire the reader to appreciate the universality of tradition and revelation in Lakota ancestral wisdom and one's place in a world of order with beauty and meaning."--Vivian Arviso Deloria, former Executive Director of Education for the Navajo Nation and Chairperson of the Navajo Nation Women's Commission
"Black Elk, Lakota Visionary is a wonderful addition to understanding this Oglala holy man's significance in both Native American and United States history. Harry Oldmeadow uses new sources to reassess Black Elk's life, impact, and the controversies with John G. Neihardt, Joseph Epes Brown, and his adoption of Catholicism. . . . Oldmeadow demonstrates how the views of Frithjof Schoun, the pre-eminent Perennialist philosopher, offer a better understanding of Black Elk. All students of Native American history and of Black Elk should be required to read this valuable contribution to the literature."--Raymond Wilson, Fort Hays State University, author of Ohiyesa: Charles Eastman, Santee Sioux and Native Americans in the Twentieth Century
"Harry Oldmeadow brings together in one volume information that comes from specialists in cultural anthropology as well as rich insights into the human condition from scholars like Mircea Eliade and Frithjof Schuon. Building upon this background, Oldmeadow explores the cultural legacy of Black Elk and the Sioux people. He does so using ordinary language which enables the reader to grasp the rich vision of this holy man and his world."--Richard Davies, Culver Academies, author of Swords at Culver