Black Elk: The Sacred Pipe

15 years after John Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks was published in 1932, American scholar, Joseph Epes Brown, went looking for Black Elk, even after Neihardt had advised him not to. Neihardt told Brown that the Oglala Sioux holy man would not speak to him.

After much traveling, Brown found Black Elk in an old canvas wall tent in Nebraska, where his extended family was digging for potatoes. The two men smoked a pipe in silence, and when the ritual smoking was over, Heȟáka Sápa asked Brown what had taken so long in getting there, for he had been expecting his coming. He then invited Brown to his house at Wounded Knee Creek, Pine Creek Reservation in South Dakota for the winter, where over the next few years, Black Elk would tell the history and meaning of the seven sacred rites of his people.

I found an audio cassette version of The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk’s Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux while out west, and have posted two tracks below. The first is Black Elk’s Foreword and the second is a section of Chapter III, Inipi: The Rite Of Purification where Black Elk speaks of the sweat lodge. Enjoy.

MP3: Black Elk’s Foreword

MP3: Chapter III – Inipi: The Rite Of Purification


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3 Responses to Black Elk: The Sacred Pipe

  1. Eric January 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    This is really cool. Thanks for sharing.

  2. blackeagle July 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    i would love to find a copy of this on audio tape or cd. i am a pipe holder and have studyed black elks works in the pass when i was first beginning my journey on the red road if you can help with this please lety me know

  3. ally cat January 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Thanks these were awesome! I am doing a paper on the sacred pipe :)

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