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The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt Paperback – October 1, 1985
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About the Author
Hilda Neihardt lives on the west bank of the Missouri River near Tekamah, Nebraska. For years a private attorney, she now devotes much of her time to presentations in schools and to service organizations.
Hilda Martinsen Neihardt (1916-2004) was the daughter of John G. Neihardt and Mona Martinsen. She is the author of "Black Elk and Flaming Rainbow: Personal Memories of the Lakota Holy Man and John Neihardt" and the editor of "Black Elk Lives: Conversations with the Black Elk Family," both available in Bison Books editions.
Top Customer Reviews
These dialogs are better known by Neihardt's poeticized rendition in the book "Black Elk Speaks." However, the well-intentioned Neihardt introduced serious distortions into his version, and should be regarded with extreme caution.
Black Elk lived the kind of life that no one would believe, if it were made up. Born to an Oglala Lakota family in Wyoming in the late nineteenth century, Black Elk lived a traditional life in camps pitched with tipis on the forests and plains, hunting buffalo and resisting the encroachment of white settlers in the region.
At the age of nine, he fell into a coma for twelve days, during which time he experienced what he would subsequently call his "Great Vision," in which he traveled up into the sky and met with the Six Grandfathers, partial personifications of the Great Spirit who dwell in the six directions (north, south, east, west, up, and down). As he took leave of the Grandfathers, he gradually realized that the sixth grandfather, the lord of the earth below, was he himself.
He awoke with the conviction that he had a sacred mandate and duty to restore his people to health and power, and spent the rest of his life with that vision as a spiritual and moral reference point, asking himself at various points along the way how important experiences fit into his vision, and filling him with the frequent anxiety that he was not fulfilling his charge.Read more ›
John Neihardt edited these notes and published them as Black Elk Speaks. While that book can be a fascinating study of theological ideas, it distorts what Black Elk shared with John Neihardt. The Sixth Grandfather should be read multiple times as a window to a beautiful consciousness that should never be lost to mankind.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The details of Black Elk's life and teachings are brought to light & life from the original hand-written notes or later typed text of Niehardt's two daughters, who wrote them down... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Tulip Tree
As with most books written by academics, it is a tedious read with footnotes ad nauseum. The reason I give it 5 stars is because of the subject matter being presented as spoken by... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Dennis Griffiths
Everyone needs to know about the tragedy of the american indian..so much is lost when indigenous people and their culture are destroyed. Read morePublished 20 months ago by andy blick