Analysis Of Black Elk: The Battle Of The Greasy Grass

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lived on for hundreds of years. He also presents an interesting opinion on the chief Red Cloud, who made negotiations with the United States Government to sell land in an attempt to protect his people. The members of Black Elk’s tribe recognized that with every negotiation made, the whites always wanted more, and so they lost respect for their leader, whom they saw as weak.
In the ninth chapter, Black Elk and his friends share their memories of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, or as they refer to it, “the Battle of the Greasy Grass.” Once again, Neihardt is able to transcribe first-hand accounts of a major event in United States history. Black Elk describes more minor battles throughout the text, and in the tenth chapter shares his sentiments
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A holy man called the Wanekia starts it out west, and begins giving hope to the desperate Indians, promising them a coming utopia. Word reaches Black Elk, and being a powerful visionary himself, he sets out to investigate for himself. While participating in a dance, another vision comes upon him, in which two men instruct him to craft specific holy shirts. Again, Black Elk’s historical account differs from that of the whites. They claim that the dances and visions were heavily guided by use of the hallucinogenic cactus peyote, yet Black Elk does not even hint towards the use of any substance when he discusses the Ghost Dance. Then comes more trouble with the whites, who are intimidated by the rapidly growing and somewhat fanatic movement. Black Elk also admits that he believes this was the time when he went wrong in his attempt to save his people. In his opinion, he began focusing too much on the visions of the Ghost Dances, instead of following his original great vision. At the same time, tragedy returns to the holy man’s life after a brief stint of hope. A friendly police officer warns Black Elk that others will come to arrest him, and so once again he is forced to flee from a place he calls home. Now twenty-seven years old, he hears word of Sitting Bull’s death, and the Wounded Knee Massacre follows shortly after. The twenty-fourth chapter, titled “The Butchering at Wounded Knee,” contains Black Elk’s memory of the tragedy that occurred that day, and serves as essentially the last story he shares with Neihardt. He shares an account of the mistake that began the massacre, as relayed to him by a

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