Since its publication in , Black Elk Speaks has moved countless readers to appreciate the American Indian world that it described John Neihardt s popular narrative addressed the youth and early adulthood of Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux religious elder Michael F Steltenkamp now provides the first full interpretive biography of Black Elk, distilling in one volume what is known of this American Indian wisdom keeper whose life has helped guide others Nicholas Black Elk Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic shows that the holy man was not the dispirited traditionalist commonly depicted in literature, but a religious thinker whose outlook was positive and whose spirituality was not limited solely to traditional Lakota precepts Combining in depth biography with its cultural context, the author depicts a complex Black Elk than has previously been known a world traveler who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn yet lived through the beginning of the atomic ageSteltenkamp draws on published and unpublished material to examine closely the last fifty years of Black Elk s life the period often overlooked by those who write and think of him only as a nineteenth century figure In the process, the author details not just Black Elk s life but also the creation of his life story by earlier writers, and its influence on the Indian revitalization movement of the late twentieth century Nicholas Black Elk explores how a holy man s diverse life experiences led to his synthesis of Native and Christian religious practice The first book to follow Black Elk s lifelong spiritual journey from medicine man to missionary and mystic Steltenkamp s work provides a much needed corrective to previous interpretations of this special man s life story This biography will lead general readers and researchers alike to rediscover both the man and the rich cultural tradition of his people


10 thoughts on “Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic

  1. Gabbi Grey Gabbi Grey says:

    A life well lived an audio review I have listened to other books narrated by Charles Henderson Norman, so I was expecting the deep timber and strong voice For this book, it was perfect.Although I am Canadian and had never heard of Black Elk, I thoroughly enjoyed this book We have stories of Canadian Indigenous persons throughout our studies and there is always a question of how much of their story is based in reality and how much is added after the fact For Nicholas Black Elk, I would say mu A life well lived an audio review I have listened to other books narrated by Charles Henderson Norman, so I was expecting the deep timber and strong voice For this book, it was perfect.Although I am Canadian and had never heard of Black Elk, I thoroughly enjoyed this book We have stories of Canadian Indigenous persons throughout our studies and there is always a question of how much of their story is based in reality and how much is added after the fact For Nicholas Black Elk, I would say much of his story has been now told.This book is part repudiation and part addition to John Neihardt s 1932, Black Elk Speaks In this book, Michael F Steltenkamp delves deeper into Nicholas Black Elk s life, examining each documented event in his life, verifying it for accuracy Everything from Black Elk s date of birth through to his conversion to the Catholic Church, to his death, is examined in great depth, making this a definitive tome Although steeped in history, the book had a narrative quality that I enjoyed, bringing to life this famous Indian It also shed light on some of the dark periods of interactions between Native Indians and the white settlers who clearly felt themselves superior The treatment of the original people of North America is often shameful and I always hope the situation will improve, but it never seems to.This book is also full of hope for a man who set a shining example of what a life well lived looks like I enjoyed it and recommend it


  2. April April says:

    NICHOLAS BLACK ELK MEDICINE MAN, MISSIONARY, MYSTIC Michael F SteltenkampWhen I saw the Black Elk name and South Dakota I knew I wanted to listen to this audiobook I was born in northeastern Wyoming Before I was born my uncle, aunt, and parents were missionaries at Wounded Knee They left there before my birth, but we took many trips to Mt Rush where I remember Ben Black Elk My mother died shortly before I turned 11 in 1968, and I went to live with relatives across the country My Dad NICHOLAS BLACK ELK MEDICINE MAN, MISSIONARY, MYSTIC Michael F SteltenkampWhen I saw the Black Elk name and South Dakota I knew I wanted to listen to this audiobook I was born in northeastern Wyoming Before I was born my uncle, aunt, and parents were missionaries at Wounded Knee They left there before my birth, but we took many trips to Mt Rush where I remember Ben Black Elk My mother died shortly before I turned 11 in 1968, and I went to live with relatives across the country My Dad and I didn t talk much about the early times until shortly before his death in 2014 Unfortunately by that time he suffered dementia I lost the chance to learnfrom him I wanted to know if there was a connection between Ben and Nicholas I was amazed within the first 10 minutes to learn Ben was his son There were many things I learned and found fascinating.The narration was well done Charles Henderson Norman gave a good performance I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review


  3. Fr. Peter Calabrese Fr. Peter Calabrese says:

    I did enjoy the book though i expectedof a direct biography It focused a great deal on the evolution of the historiography of Black Elk This was the first title I came upon and it raises and helps resolves many questions regarding the relationship between Native religious traditions and Christianity through an analysis of the life of Black Elk who is now being considered for a Cause of Canonization I think I want to read the author s other work on Black Elk Holy Man of Oglala before I I did enjoy the book though i expectedof a direct biography It focused a great deal on the evolution of the historiography of Black Elk This was the first title I came upon and it raises and helps resolves many questions regarding the relationship between Native religious traditions and Christianity through an analysis of the life of Black Elk who is now being considered for a Cause of Canonization I think I want to read the author s other work on Black Elk Holy Man of Oglala before I give the definitive review of this one Bottom line Yes read it it is timely considering the promotion of his Cause for sainthood and concerns about respect for Native traditions


  4. Deedra Deedra says:

    I found this a very interesting and educational book.It makes you want to delve into the subjectCharles Henderson Norman was a fine narrator.Very precise in pronunciations.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.


  5. Steven Howes Steven Howes says:

    This work contains new insights at least for me into the later life and teachings of Oglala Lakota Holy Man Black Elk Black Elk was born around 1863, died in 1950, and was the subject of John G Neihardt s 1932 book Black Elk Speaks.


  6. E. E. says:

    I did like learningabout Black Elk, but the biography is too focused on scholarly disputes and is written at times in a polemical style The author is not a good storyteller.


  7. Velvetink Velvetink says:

    epub BookFi.org