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Sacred Pipe, The

Product no.: 0-8061-2124-6
During the winter of 1947, Black Elk, the Oglala Sioux holy man, related to Joseph Brown seven of the sacred Oglala traditions.

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Publisher's Synopsis
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 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 through a rare spirit of sacrifice and determination.

The wakan Mysteries of the Siouan peoples have been a subject of interest and study by explorers and scholars from the period of earliest contact between whites and Indians in North America, but Black Elk's account is without doubt the most highly developed on 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.

Reviews

"The Sacred Pipe will be read with interest and pleasure by all those interested in the religious doctrines and associated rites of preliterate North America."      ~Pacific Northwest Quarterly

Excerpt
"In the great vision which came to me in my youth, when I had known only nine winters, there was something which has seemed to me to be of greater and greater importance as the moons have passed by. It is about our sacred pipe and its importance to our People."

"We have been told by the white men, or at least by those who are Christian, that God sent to men His Son, who would restore Order and Peace upon the Earth: and we have been told that Jesus the Christ was crucified, but that he shall come again at the Last Judgment, the end of the world or cycle. This I understand and know that it is true, but the white men should know that for the red people too, it was the Will of Wakan-Tanka, the Great Spirit, that an animal turn itself into a two-legged person in order to bring the most Holy Pipe to His People; and we too were taught that this White Buffalo Calf Woman, who brought our sacred pipe, will appear again at the end of the 'world', a coming which we Indians know is now not very far off…"

"Most people call it a 'Peace Pipe,' yet now there is no Peace on Earth or even between neighbors, and I have been told that it has been a long time since there has been Peace in the world. There is much talk of Peace among the Christians, yet this is just talk. Perhaps it may be, and this is my prayer that through our Sacred Pipe, Peace may come to those peoples who can understand, an 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…"

"I have wished to help my people understand the greatness and truth of our own tradition, and also to help in bringing Peace upon the Earth, not only among men, but within men and between the whole of creation."

"We should understand well that all things are the works of the Great Spirit. We should know that He is within all things; the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and all the four-legged animals, and the winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that He is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as He intends."

Biography
Joseph Epes Brown (1920-2000) was a renowned scholar, author, and teacher of Native American Traditions and World Religions. He believed that all great world religions are paths that lead ultimately to the same summit, and dedicated his life to bringing Native American Religions into the canon of World Religions. Through his teaching, writing, and friendships he served as a vital bridge, promoting understanding between Native American and White cultures.

Editor Brown, Joseph Epes
Author Black Elk, Nicholas
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 143 pp.
Publisher University of Oklahoma Press 1989
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