Black Elk Speaks


John G. Neihardt

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The Sioux are a grouping of Indian tribes: the Lakota, the Dakota, and the Nakota. The Lakota (Black Elk’s tribe) are the westernmost Sioux tribe.

Sioux Quotes in Black Elk Speaks

The Black Elk Speaks quotes below are all either spoken by Sioux or refer to Sioux. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Nebraska Press edition of Black Elk Speaks published in 2014.
Chapter 1 Quotes

But now that I see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man too weak to use it; of a holy tree that should have flourished in a people’s heart with flowers and singing birds, and now is withered; and of a people’s dream that died in bloody snow.

Related Characters: Black Elk (speaker)
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

But only crazy or very foolish men would sell their Mother Earth. Sometimes I think it might have been better if we had stayed together and made them kill us all.

Related Characters: Black Elk (speaker), Red Cloud, Crazy Horse
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

And I, to whom so great a vision was given in my youth,—you see me now a pitiful old man who has done nothing, for the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.

Related Characters: Black Elk (speaker)
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:
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