- (1881–1973)Poet and writer (Nebraska’s poet laureate for 52 years) who published a version of the biography of Nicholas Black Elk, a Lakota holy man. Brought up on a Nebraska farm, Neihardt had an experience that inclined him not only toward poetry rather than technology but also toward the study of mysticism. He describes flying across the universe and being spoken to by the voice of a “ghostly brother.” A reading of Vedantic philosophy added impetus to what he experienced as a demand to become a mystic. Reece Pendleton argues that these experiences, inclinations, and experiences prepared Neihardt for his friendship and literary work with Black Elk. It is interesting to speculate what role “mysticism” played in Neihardt’s selective presentation of aspects of Black Elk’s biography. The failure of the book to make an impact before the 1960s suggests that it required a rereading in the light of rising interest in shamans and indigenous people (albeit as environmentalist and countercultural icons) to replace Neihardt’s more mystical intentions. Or perhaps it is simply that Neihardt lacked the shamanic language to understand his experience and thus mistook it for mysticism until he encountered Black Elk. According to Raymond DeMallie, Black Elk interpreted Neihardt’s vision to him as a shamanic calling by an Indian spirit guide. All of this raises questions about the interpretation of shamanism and its relationship with other kinds of religious experience and practice.
Historical dictionary of shamanism. Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis. 2007.
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Neihardt, John Gneisenau — ▪ American poet born Jan. 8, 1881, near Sharpsburg, Ill., U.S. died Nov. 3, 1973, Columbia, Mo. American poet, novelist, and short story writer who described the history of American Indians, especially the Sioux. Neihardt grew up in… … Universalium
John Neihardt — Johnathan (John) Gneisenau Neihardt (January 8, 1881 – November 24, 1973) was an American author of poetry and prose, an amateur historian and ethnographer, and a philosopher of the Great Plains. Born at the end of the American settlement of the… … Wikipedia
Hilda Neihardt — (1916 2004) was one of her father John G. Neihardt s comrades in adventure, and at the age of 15 accompanied him as official observer to meetings with Black Elk, the Lakota holy man whose life stories were the basis for her father s book, Black… … Wikipedia
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Bibliography — As the scope of the dictionary entries and extent of this bibliography make clear, there is a huge range of literature on shamans, from introductory works, general discussions on such topics as definition, and culture specific ethnographic… … Historical dictionary of shamanism
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