Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story

by S.D. Nelson

An account of the life of Black Elk, the Lakota-Oglala medicine man, is based largely... read more

An account of the life of Black Elk, the Lakota-Oglala medicine man, is based largely (but not wholly) on Black Elk Speaks and strikingly illustrated by artist S. D. Nelson. Born in 1863, Black Elk’s Great Vision came to him when he was nine years old. As he grew into adulthood he became known in his community as someone who could heal others through his connection to the Spirit World. Black Elk fought in the Battle of Little Big Horn, saw the slaughter of the buffalo that were so important to Lakota survival, and witnessed the Wounded Knee massacre. He worked in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, a stereotypical production in which Indians pretended to die at the hands of cowboys, in part to try to learn about the Wha-shi-choo (“Wasichu” in Lakota, meaning white man). Throughout his life, he held fast to his vision, which affirmed the circle of life, of support and respect. S. D. Nelson’s stunning artwork offers an expressive, cohesive visual accompaniment to the narrative, which is also enhanced by archival black-and-white photographs. A timeline, source notes, and other material round out the volume. (Ages 9–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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