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Nicholas Black Elk

Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic
Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Since its publication in 1932, Black Elk Speaks has moved countless readers to appreciate the American Indian world that it described. John Neihardt’s popular narrative addressed the youth and early adulthood of Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux religious elder. Michael F. Steltenkamp now provides the first full interpretive biography of Black Elk, distilling in one volume what is known of this American Indian wisdom keeper whose life has helped guide others.

Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic shows that the holy-man was not the dispirited traditionalist commonly depicted in literature, but a religious thinker whose outlook was positive and whose spirituality was not limited solely to traditional Lakota precepts. Combining in-depth biography with its cultural context, the author depicts a more complex Black Elk than has previously been known: a world traveler who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn yet lived through the beginning of the atomic age.

Nicholas Black Elk explores how a holy-man’s diverse life experiences led to his synthesis of Native and Christian religious practice. The first book to follow Black Elk’s lifelong spiritual journey - from medicine man to missionary and mystic - Steltenkamp’s work provides a much-needed corrective to previous interpretations of this special man’s life story.

The book is published by University of Oklahoma Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks. 

"A valuable contribution...offers a consistent and insightful interpretation of Black Elk's religious life." (Western Historical Quarterly)

"Easily the best reference work on Black Elk's life to date." (Montana: The Magazine of Western History)

"A significant contribution.... The author is to be commended." (Wendy L. Fletcher, Dean, Vancouver School of Theology, British Columbia)

©2009 University of Oklahoma Press (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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Profile Image for cosmitron
  • cosmitron
  • 06-09-18

Great overview of little known subject.

Very few of us outside of Native Americans have any knowledge of the main aspects of this Book.

With a great Narrator receive a wonderful introduction to the timeless culture of the first Americans.

It is worth a listen.



This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 26-04-19

A life well lived

I have listened to other books narrated by Charles Henderson Norman, so I was expecting the deep timber and strong voice. For this book, it was perfect.

Although I am Canadian and had never heard of Black Elk, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. We have stories of Canadian Indigenous persons throughout our studies and there is always a question of how much of their story is based in reality and how much is added after the fact. For Nicholas Black Elk, I would say much of his story has been now told.

This book is part repudiation and part addition to John Neihardt’s 1932, Black Elk Speaks. In this book, Michael F. Steltenkamp delves deeper into Nicholas Black Elk’s life, examining each documented event in his life, verifying it for accuracy. Everything from Black Elk’s date of birth through to his conversion to the Catholic Church, to his death, is examined in great depth, making this a definitive tome. Although steeped in history, the book had a narrative quality that I enjoyed, bringing to life this famous Indian. It also shed light on some of the dark periods of interactions between Native Indians and the white settlers who clearly felt themselves superior. The treatment of the original people of North America is often shameful and I always hope the situation will improve, but it never seems to.

This book is also full of hope for a man who set a shining example of what a life well-lived looks like. I enjoyed it and recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • April H.
  • 06-09-18

So Much to Learn

NICHOLAS BLACK ELK: MEDICINE MAN, MISSIONARY, MYSTIC
: Michael F. Steltenkamp

When I saw the Black Elk name and South Dakota I knew I wanted to listen to this audiobook. I was born in northeastern Wyoming. Before I was born my uncle, aunt, and parents were missionaries at Wounded Knee. They left there before my birth, but we took many trips to Mt. Rushmore where I remember Ben Black Elk. My mother died shortly before I turned 11 in 1968, and I went to live with relatives across the country. My Dad and I didn't talk much about the early times until shortly before his death in 2014. Unfortunately by that time he suffered dementia. I lost the chance to learn more from him.

I wanted to know if there was a connection between Ben and Nicholas. I was amazed within the first 10 minutes to learn Ben was his son. There were many things I learned and found fascinating.



The narration was well done. Charles Henderson Norman gave a good performance.




I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Deedra
  • Deedra
  • 08-11-18

Nicholas Black Elk

I found this a very interesting and educational book.It makes you want to delve into the subject more. Charles Henderson Norman was a fine narrator.Very precise in pronunciations.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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  • Cycletrash56
  • 06-11-18

Excellent History Lesson

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This review is for the audio copy of Nicholas Black Elk, Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic by Michael F. Steltenkamp and narrated by Charles Henderson Norman. I really enjoyed this story with all the background and references that help validate the story. This is one of my most favorite things to learn about and this book provided a plethora of information. The narration was perfect for the story. Charles treated it with the reverence and respect required for this history lesson.

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  • Margriet
  • 29-10-18

Interesting

A lot of references were made to earlier works of other authors about the person of Black Elk. I did not expect or particularly care for that, probably because I am unfamiliar with those books and thoughts.

Regardless I enjoyed learning more about this unique person. It is worth a listen.

I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Rayc
  • 08-10-18

A great man's story

Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Missionary, Mystic. An in depth look into the life and wisdom of a holy man who spanned cultures and religous divides. the first hour of this book is heavy going, but after that it is intriguing,
This is the story of a man you'd want to have in your home at a dinner party or just to listen too, one of those people we all wished we'd met.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook at my own request, and voluntarily leave this review.

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  • Christian
  • 29-09-18

A fascinating first hand account...

... about Indian community life, customs, religion etc. I did not like the voice and way of reading of the narrator at all - he over emphasizes everything too much I think - but still, the book is very interesting as it describes Indian life in great detail.

Black Elk is described as a very educated, interested character, who also learned a lot about the white man during his journey to Europe with Buffalo Bill.

Of course the book is mainly about Black Elk - but other chiefs like Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are also mentioned.

The book ends with a story told by Black Elk and it also talks about his legacy. I had lots of fun listening to this audiobook and I can recommend it.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • Rhonda
  • 07-09-18

Black Elk

Good book with a lot of information. Not exactly what I was expecting but I enjoyed it very much. It would have been a lot better for me if I had read the other books that are repeatedly referenced here. I felt like there was a lot I was missing. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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  • KD
  • 07-09-18

What an interesting man

I was surprised at how interesting this man was. I don’t have as much time to read these days and when this book came out I thought this would be a good time to get it