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But Black Elk Speaks is not just the story of one man

But Black Elk Speaks is not just the story of one man -...

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But  Black Elk Speaks  is not just the story of one man; Black Elk himself says that if it were, it would  not be a story worth telling. It is also the history of the Sioux during his lifetime. As a description of  tribal life, the novel can be classified as an  ethnography,  an anthropological examination of the life  practices of a particular cultural group. Black Elk's story is especially valuable from an ethnographic  standpoint because it covers the Sioux's transition from pre-reservation to reservation life. His story  includes descriptions of hunting, butchering, cooking practices, ceremonies and rituals related to  hunting, healing, and fertility, especially the great sun dance; it depicts Indian behavior at war, in  courtship, and at play; and it offers a privileged glimpse into the Indians' spiritual and social life. It 
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