Summary and Analysis Chapter 22 – Visions of the Other World


Black Elk became a high priest of the ghost dance religion, sometimes called the “Messiah craze.” The reader sees in this description of the ghost dance much of the symbology that has recurred in Black Elk’s visions during his childhood and, later, in France: a red-painted man, the sacred stick, the number twelve. His feeling of being levitated is reminiscent of his journey through the sky on clouds in his visions. It is evident that Black Elk joins this movement because he believes it is a further manifestation of the vision he was granted much earlier in his life. Some who were massacred at Wounded Knee wore the ghost shirts that Black Elk made.