Custom «Black Elk Speaks and Skin Walkers» Essay Paper Sample

Black Elk Speaks and Skin Walkers

Black Elk was a holy man among the Lakota people John G, pp 13. He had had several visions that were significant to the lives of the Lakota people. These visions include the great vision and the dog vision. Black Elk had his first vision at the early age of five years. In this first vision, Black Elk had seen two men appearing in the sky. These men he saw were singing a holy song John G, pp 19. This first vision shows how in future the people of Lakota were going to be helped by their ancestors to gain power of their enemies and celebrate because of that.

Black Elk had also had another vision at the age of nine years. He had this vision while he was eating and in this vision, he heard voices telling him to hurry up since his grand fathers were waiting for him. During this time, Black Elk feel sick and when he was taken to his parent's house, he saw the same men he had seen in the first vision and these men were telling him to be quick since his grandfathers were waiting for him. He is then taken by a cloud tracking the men to another place that is made up of clouds. This is the place where he gets his great vision. In the cloud, Black Elk was greeted by a bay horse and this horse said that he had to tell himself his history and the history other people. That horse turned into all compass directions and Black Elk realized that there were twelve horses in each direction. The horses were to take Black Elk to his grandfathers and when he went there, he found his grandfathers waiting for him and there was singing and dancing, John G, pp 129.

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To the Lakota people, this great vision has the significance of telling them about going to new land. It shows how the Lakota people would move from one place to another. Black Elk is given the duty to lead his people in the great vision. He is the one who is bound to be the savior of the Lakota people according to this vision, John G, pp 167. In addition, the significance of the symbolism of horses in this vision shows what the Lakota people would use to go to various places. More so, it also shows that the people of Lakota would move to all compass directions.

The singing and dancing of the different species of animals shows how the Lakota people would gain victory from their fighters. During the great vision, Black Elk was commissioned by the bay horse to lead the people of Lakota in wars and to heal the sick. The context of this great vision shows Lakota's religious beliefs. The circles that were formed by the horse show the solidarity of the people of Lakota and how such solidarity would enhance social unity, John G, pp 157. The great vision also shows the destruction of the sacred hoop and this symbolizes the destruction of the Lakota people. The giving of tools and knowledge required for the reconstruction of the Lakota people symbolizes how the grandfathers of the Lakota people chose to use Black Elk in building back the Lakota nation.

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The other vision that Black Elk had is the dog vision. In the dog vision, Black Elk had also seen the flying men of his previous vision and this encouraged him to join the Oglala to perform the duty entrusted by him by his vision. In the dog vision, Black Elk was shown a bloody dog's head impaled on his people's arrows. The head of the dog turns out to be heads of the white men. This vision makes Black Elk to accept his duty of leading the people of Lakota in order to enable them to win the war. The dog vision has a significance to the Lakota people in that, they were going to defeat the white men in war. The symbolism of the head of the dogs being impaled in the arrows of the Lakota people shows how the Lakota people were going to succeed in war, John G, pp 245.

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Jim's visions

Jim had visions which were meant to communicate to the people of America. Jim's visions meant that the Indians who had been killed were coming back to take revenge. In the Navajo religion, the skin walkers are the witches and wizards James I, 2006. Jim had a vision about a small cat while he was sleeping. This cat had come to Jim's trailer and when it came, it made some clack sound. During this time, Jim had had a sleepless night and the noise made by the small cat made him awake and he recognized that the bed sheet he was using was tied around his chest and this was making him uncomfortable. He was dreaming of being knotted by a rope that he was supposed to use to prevent his mother's sheep from going over the edge of something which could have harmed it.

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This vision shows us that the traditional Navajo people are afraid of witchcraft since they know that it can cause trouble to them. The cat in this vision symbolizes a witch who was standing outside with the aim of performing their evil duties. The cat was making some noise to show something bad that could have threatened the life of Jim, James I, 2006.

According to the cat vision, we understand that the people of Navajo relate bad happenings to the witch. This is because; the film shows us that when the cat appeared, Jim suffered from a closed cul-de-sac due to his rusted barrel, a lower limb and a boulder. In another vision, Jim sees that a cat owned by someone else is so thin. Jim could not get the cat to take it to a veterinary. In this vision, we learn that the Navajo traditional world view does not allow people to interfere with animals without reasons. When the small cat learns how to hide, we learn how the traditional Navajo people had learned how to hide from their enemies. We also get to know that the traditional Navajo people would hide from witches because they feared witchcraft, James I, 2006.

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In yet another vision, Jim saw a shy girl he had wanted to talk to hung the fringes, James I, 2006. The girl had also watched at Jim but she drove away. To him, the vision talks about something good that he wanted to get for himself but he never succeeded. We learn that the traditional Navajo people have a belief that one cannot always win the good things they see on their way.

The other vision that Jim had is when a small human being stand outside his house quietly at night. He was simultaneously struck by light and sound several times. This was followed by total quietness and he reached for his pistol and cocked ready for a fight. He later heard gunshots and this shows that the traditional Navajo people belief war. When the men were found dead, many Navajo people thought of some witchcraft which had been used to kill them, James I, 2006. We as viewers of the skinwalkers film know that the men had been shot.

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