Up Next

Words of Wisdom

On the Good Red Road: Selections from “Black Elk Speaks,” Part 1 of 2

Download Docx
Read More
Black Elk was born in 1863 as a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe, whose people lived in today's Wyoming in the western United States. Starting at age nine, Black Elk, was led by inner visions to protect both the indigenous lands and his people. His ultimate symbolic mission was to bring back the Tree of Life so that it bloomed, thus restoring his own nation and leading the Lakota people to walk the Red Road, the road of good. Black Elk was revered by his fellow tribes’ people as a holy man who could also heal injury and sickness through the grace of God, or the Great Spirit. In 1930, Black Elk agreed to be interviewed by John Neihardt, an American writer and poet. Mr. Neihardt later published the book “Black Elk Speaks,” a vivid and moving account of Lakota life and spiritual traditions. “It is the story of all life that is holy and is good to tell, and of us two-leggeds sharing in it with the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is one Spirit.” “‘Your Grandfathers all over the world are having a council, and they have called you here to teach you.’ His voice was very kind, but I shook all over with fear now, for I knew that these were not old men, but the Powers of the World. And the first was the Power of the West; the second, of the North; the third, of the East; the fourth, of the South; the fifth, of the Sky; the sixth, of the Earth.” “‘Younger brother,’ he said, ‘with the powers of the four quarters you shall walk, a relative. Behold, the living center of a nation I shall give you, and with it many you shall save.’” “‘It shall stand in the center of the nation’s circle,’ said the Grandfather, ‘a cane to walk with and a people’s heart; and by your powers you shall make it blossom.’” “‘From where the giant lives (the North) to where you always face (the South) the Red Road goes, the road of good,’ the Grandfather said, ‘and on it shall your nation walk.’”
Share To
Start Time
Watch in mobile browser
Scan the QR code,
or choose the right phone system to download