Black Elk Speaks Essay

1600 Words7 Pages
Black Elk Speaks Greed is a large part of the American culture whether we realize it as a society or not. Many countries around the world view the United States as a selfish country that does what it wants on a global scale, and does not share or allocate its predominate wealth. I am very thankful and proud to be a citizen of this country. Even though I would risk my life to protect our country and its freedom, there are aspects about our civilization that I wish could be different. Black Elk, “a holy man and a warrior of the Lakota Nation Indians,” was a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe during the most horrific period for Native Americans in the Western part of the United States. In excerpts from the novel of his life story…show more content…
Land was not divided, it was shared. Teepees were set up in a circle and ceremonies and dances were held in the center. Even when the Indians were short on something, they always managed to share what they had with other tribes in need. They did not do this because they had to, it was the code that they lived by. When a neighboring tribe of Black Elk’s was on the move without any food or clothing, they gave them as much food and clothing as possible even though they were short themselves. Nature also played a large role in the Indian’s lives. “Birds make their nests in circles, for their religion is the same as ours” (APT 315). The traditional Sioux way of life created interdependence between man and nature. Respect for the cycle of the seasons and animal life was necessary in order to secure food, clothing, and shelter. When the Indians lived in cooperation with nature, those necessities were available to them. They were available in such plenty, that their very existence seemed proof of the care of the Great Spirit. Bison were very important to the Native Americans. Even though they hunted and killed them they had great respect and love for them. They only hunted what they needed to survive. When they did kill a bison, every part of it was used. The meat was used for food, and the fur was used for clothes. The bones were even used as tools and weapons. Nothing was wasted. When white settlers, or Wasichus, began to take over the land the Indians had
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