'Ben Black Elk Speaks' by Warfield Moose Jr.
OMAHA, Neb. - "Our history in the olden days was written on the four winds, but our elders, chiefs and wise men handed it down from generation to generation around campfires. Today is so different, we like to go back and dream about our own people," said Ben Black Elk while speaking in a classroom on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the late '60s.
Ben Black Elk was 70 years old at the time and wished to share his lifetime's worth of experience with the children in the traditional spoken word fashion. Showing typical Lakota adaptability, teacher Warfield Moose Sr. had the presence of mind to make an audio recording of these invaluable lessons.
"I knew my father had a great interest for recording stories of Lakota people. I didn't know about the recording of Ben Black Elk until the last days [before] my father's death," said Warfield Moose Jr., an esteemed Pine Ridge teacher and healer. "He was the type of person who dedicated himself to preserving the Lakota language, culture, song and dance."
"There is so much meaning behind this project for so many people ? Since this was my father's vision - and I am a part of his life - I should complete the vision for my father and mother who helped me to believe in myself," said Moose. "It was up to me to make this recording happen."
The newly released CD "Ben Black Elk Speaks" is a compilation of stories, songs and remembrances of the son of the Lakota holy man Nicholas Black Elk who knew some of the most famous figures in history including; Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Red Cloud; and was present during the battle of Little Big Horn and the massacre at Wounded Knee.
Ben Black Elk relates tales from his childhood including the death of his maternal grandfather Good Thunder, who was one of the originators of the ghost dance. He speaks about how his aunt gave away four horses for each of his braids that were cut off when he was sent to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania in 1912.
Each deceptively simple story is layered with facets that give insight into Lakota culture and history. A wonderful storyteller, Black Elk speaks with a warmth and familiar humor that tempers even the saddest memories.
The 14 tracks of digitally re-mastered recordings are complemented with songs produced, written and performed by Warfield Moose Jr. It also contains Henry Black Elk's account of the massacre at Wounded Knee and a 20-page booklet filled with images, translations and explanations of Black Elk's teachings.
Proceeds of "Ben Black Elk Speaks" will go to the newly formed Yellow Spider, Inc., a not-for-profit foundation designed to preserve Lakota culture and spiritual practices.
A premiere party for the CD will take place at Borders Books and Music in Rapid City, S.D. on Nov. 15.
For more information visit www.benblackelk.com, e-mail email@example.com, phone publicist and co-producer Felicia Collins at (402) 827-1054 or write to Felicia Collins Public Relations, 1411 Harney Street, Suite 200, Omaha, NE 68102.