In 1931 John Neihardt traveled to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to interview Lakota elders who had witnessed the Ghost Dance and the Wounded Knee Massacre. He met Black Elk, and their two weeks of intense talks became Black Elk Speaks, one of the most important biographies of an American Indian ever published. Accompanying John Neihardt to help him observe and to take notes were his two daughters, Enid and Hilda.
For the first time Hilda Neihardt presents her memories of those interviews. She celebrates the days and nights of storytelling, camping, feasting, and horseback riding with the fresh eyes of a bright fourteen year old. The volume includes never-before-published photographs and answers many questions about the collaboration between the Lakota holy man and her father, called Peta Wigamou-Gke, or Flaming Rainbow.
Hilda Neihardt lives on the west bank of the Missouri River near Tekamah, Nebraska. For years a private attorney, she now devotes much of her time to presentations in schools and to service organizations.
“A tranquil portrait of an obviously well-loved father set in a period of youthful excitement and a tangential romance with all things Lakota . . . The style is easy to read and informative and does add new dimensions to the Black Elk interviews.”—American Indian Culture and Research Journal
“A wonderful mix of the treasured memories of a young girl’s enthusiasm and of her youthful recognition of the importance of her father’s and Black Elk’s work together.”—Nebraska History