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Black Elk QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A good nation I will make live.
Quotation of Black Elk
After the horse dance was over, it seemed that I was above the ground and did not touch it when I walked.
Quotation of Black Elk
Also, as I lay there thinking of my vision, I could see it all again and feel the meaning with a part of me like a strange power glowing in my body; but when the part of me that talks would try to make words for the meaning, it would be like fog and get away from me.
Quotation of Black Elk
And as he spoke of understanding, I looked up and saw the rainbow leap with flames of many colors over me.
Quotation of Black Elk
And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.
Quotation of Black Elk
And if the great fear had not come upon me, as it did, and forced me to do my duty, I might have been less good to the people than some man who had never dreamed at all, even with the memory of so great a vision in me.
Quotation of Black Elk
And when I breathed, my breath was lightning.
Quotation of Black Elk
And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.
Quotation of Black Elk
But I think I have done right to save the vision in this way, even though I may die sooner because I did it; for I know the meaning of the vision is wise and beautiful and good; and you can see that I am only a pitiful old man after all.
Quotation of Black Elk
Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.
Quotation of Black Elk
Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.
Quotation of Black Elk
I cured with the power that came through me.
Quotation of Black Elk
I had a vision with which I might have saved my people, but I had not the strength to do it.
Quotation of Black Elk
I had never told any one all of it, and even until now nobody ever heard it all.
Quotation of Black Elk
I know now what this meant, that the bison were the gift of a good spirit and were our strength, but we should lose them, and from the same good spirit we must find another strength.
Quotation of Black Elk
I looked about me once again, and suddenly the dancing horses without number changed into animals of every kind and into all the fowls that are, and these fled back to the four quarters of the world from whence the horses came, and vanished.
Quotation of Black Elk
I looked below and saw my people there, and all were well and happy except one, and he was lying like the dead - and that one was myself.
Quotation of Black Elk
I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on earth for the people to see.
Quotation of Black Elk
I was four years old then, and I think it must have been the next summer that I first heard the voices.
Quotation of Black Elk
I was painted red all over with black lightning on my limbs. I wore a black mask, and across my forehead a single eagle feather hung.
Quotation of Black Elk
I was sixteen years old and more, and I had not yet done anything the Grandfathers wanted me to do, but they had been helping me.
Quotation of Black Elk
If you will read again what is written, you will see how it was.
Quotation of Black Elk
It was even then only after the heyoka ceremony in which I performed my dog vision, that I had the power to practice as a medicine man, curing sick people; and many I cured with the power that came through me.
Quotation of Black Elk
It was when I was five years old that my Grandfather made me a bow and some arrows.
Quotation of Black Elk
My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish; and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it; for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow?
Quotation of Black Elk
Now and then the voices would come back when I was out alone, like someone calling me, but what they wanted me to do I did not know.
Quotation of Black Elk
Now I knew the sixth Grandfather was about to speak, he who was the Spirit of the Earth, and I saw that he was very old, but more as men are old.
Quotation of Black Elk
Now suddenly there was nothing but a world of cloud, and we three were there alone in the middle of a great white plain with snowy hills and mountains staring at us; and it was very still; but there were whispers.
Quotation of Black Elk
Of course, it was not I who cured, it was the power from the Outer World, the visions and the ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds.
Quotation of Black Elk
So I sang to them all the songs that I had heard in my vision, and it took most of the night to teach these songs to them.
Quotation of Black Elk
So I took the bright red stick and at the center of the nation's hoop I thrust it in the earth.
Quotation of Black Elk
Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.
Quotation of Black Elk
The boys of my people began very young to learn the ways of men, and no one taught us; we just learned by doing what we saw, and we were warriors at a time when boys now are like girls.
Quotation of Black Elk
The fear that was on me so long was gone, and when thunder clouds appeared I was always glad to see them, for they came as relatives now to visit me.
Quotation of Black Elk
The Grandfathers had sprinkled fresh soil on the nation's hoop that they had made in there with the red and black roads across it, and all around this little circle of the nation's hoop we saw the prints of tiny pony hoofs as though the spirit horses had been dancing while we danced.
Quotation of Black Elk
The soldiers did go away and their towns were torn down; and in the Moon of Falling Leaves (November), they made a treaty with Red Cloud that said our country would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow.
Quotation of Black Elk
Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world.
Quotation of Black Elk
There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.
Quotation of Black Elk
They told me I had been sick twelve days, lying like dead all the while, and that Whirlwind Chaser, who was Standing Bear's uncle and a medicine man, had brought me back to life.
Quotation of Black Elk
To use the power of the bison, I had to perform that part of my vision for the people to see.
Quotation of Black Elk
We stopped to get a drink from a creek, and when I got off my horse, my legs crumpled under me and I could not walk.
Quotation of Black Elk
When I got back to my father and mother and was sitting up there in our tepee, my face was still all puffed and my legs and arms were badly swollen; but I felt good all over and wanted to get right up and run around.
Quotation of Black Elk
You remember that my great vision came to me when I was only nine years old, and you have seen that I was not much good for anything until after I had performed the horse dance near the mouth of the Tongue River during my eighteenth summer.
Quotation of Black Elk
You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought that I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.
Quotation of Black Elk