I've just begun reading Black Elk Speaks and already I've been floored by its simplicity and scope. I'm at the part of the book where Black Elk recounts his visit from the myriad earthly spirits and how he came to have the pipe of peace. Fascinating stuff.
"Black Elk Speaks is a 1932 story of an Oglala Sioux medicine man as told by John Neihardt. Black Elk's son, Ben Black Elk, translated Black Elk's words from Lakota into English.
In the summer of 1930, as part of his research into the Native American perspective on the Ghost Dance movement, Neihardt contacted an Oglala holy man named Black Elk, who had been present as a young man at the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn and the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. As Neihardt tells the story, Black Elk gave him the gift of his life's narrative, including the visions he had had and some of the Oglala rituals he had performed. The two men developed a close friendship. The book Black Elk Speaks, grew from their conversations continuing in the spring of 1931, and is now Neihardt's most familiar work. The current popularity of the book shows the growth of interest in the social and ethical analysis of Native American tribes."
Here's a beautiful quote:
"Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking..."
Here's Black Elk Speaks on amazon.
Here's the wiki for Black Elk Speaks.
And Black Elk's personal wiki.