The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux Black Elk of the Sioux has been recognized as one of the truly remarkable men of his time in the matter of religious belief and practice. Shortly before his death in August 1950, when he was the "Keeper of the Sacred Pipe," he said, "It is prayer that, through our Sacred Pipe and through this book in which I shall explain what our pipe really is, peace may come to those peoples who can understand and understanding which must be of the heart and not of the head alone. Then they will realize that we Indians know the One true God and that we pray to him continually."
Black Elk was the only qualified priest of the older Oglala Sioux still living when The Sacred Pipe was written. This is his book: he gave it orally to Joseph Epes Brown during the latter's eight month's residence on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where Black Elk lived. Beginning with the story of the White Buffalo Cow Woman's first visit to the Sioux to give them the sacred pipe, Black Elk describes and discusses the details and meanings of the Seven Rites, which were disclosed, one by one, to the Sioux through visions. He takes the reader through the Sun Dance, the Purification rite, the "Keeping of the Soul," and other rites, showing how the Sioux have come to terms with God and nature and their fellow men though a rare spirit of sacrifice and determination. The Wakan Mysteries of the Siouan people have been a subject of interest and study by explorers and scholars from the period of earliest contact between whites and Indians in North American but Black Elk's account is without doubt the most highly developed in this religion and cosmography. The Sacred Pipe, published as volume thirty-six in the Civilization of the American Indian series, will be greeted enthusiastically by students of comparative religion, ethnologists, historians, philosophers, and everyone interested in American Indian life.
Condition: Original dust jacket with mylar cover. The original dust cover does show some shelf wear and aging but is in pretty good shape. The pages do show some yellowing but are not torn or stained.
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- Joseph Epes Brown
- Library of Congress Card Catalog Number 53-8810
- Publication Details:
- First Edition | 1953 | Norman: University of Oklahoma Press
- Book Details:
- Hard cover, 144 pages