Photo: Chief Lazy Boy. Photo 1914 by Harris Ewing.
Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits. And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.
Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds.
'The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt'
By Raymond J. DeMallie (Editor), Hilda Neihardt (Foreword)
In Black Elk Speaks and When the Tree Flowered, John C. Neihardt recorded the teachings of the Oglala holy man Black Elk, who had, in a vision, seen himself as the "sixth grandfather," the spiritual representative of the earth and of mankind. Raymond J. DeMallie makes available for the first time the transcripts from Neihardt's interviews with Black Elk in 1931 and 1944, which formed the basis for the two books. His introduction offers new insights into the life of Black Elk.
"In The Sixth Grandfather, Dr. DeMallie reveals himself to be a uniquely sensitive interpreter of Lakota theology, philosophy, and history—which are all one in traditionalist Lakota thought. His editing is a masterpiece of scholarly skill and spiritual insight, insight that penetrates the inner beings of both Black Elk and John G. Neihardt, two men of vastly different cultures who became one as seekers of the Sacred. The Sixth Grandfather is, as it were, the completion of the holy task begun in Black Elk Speaks and When the Tree Flowered."— Father Peter J. Powell, author of People of the Sacred Mountain
(Father Peter J. Powell)