Seven Journeys in the American West


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1.Road to Pine Ridge
1840 - 1890

Black Elk, a holy man of the Lakota Sioux, remembers life on the Plains before the coming of the white man. (7.5 mins)

2.Travels with the Oglala
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1846 next video 2/7next

iconChapter Breakdown

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1. Black Elk, a holy man of the Lakota Sioux, is interviewed in the 1930s about the 'old times'.
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2. Black Elk's story - and the Pine Ridge reservation today.
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3. Black Elk describes his childhood, and how the Wasichu - the 'pale faces' - came to the Plains.
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4. A pow wow in the Pine Ridge reservation - keeping Lakota culture alive in modern day USA.

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The module was shot at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where we spent a remarkable week at the invitation of Jonathan Yellow-Bird Steele, the Tribal Chairman, and Mark St Pierre of the Chamber of Commerce. Filming the pow wow was an especial privilege.


Some of the buildings photographed in the 1890s (Black Elk's 'square boxes') still survive, albeit now standing derelict. Matching the buildings to the photos was a moving experience. Even more moving was a visit to the tribal cemetery for the victims of Wounded Knee, just south of the reservation.


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