Black Elk Speaks
But if the vision was true and mighty, as I know, it is true and mighty yet; for such things are of the spirit, and it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.
So I know that it is a good thing I am going to do; and because no good thing can be done by any man alone, I will first make an offering and send a voice to the Spirit of the World, that it may help me to be true. See, I fill this sacred pipe with the bark of the red willow; but before we smoke it, you must see how it is made and what it means. These four ribbons hanging here on the stem are the four quarters of the universe.
- The black one is for the west where the thunder beings live to send us rain;
- The white one for the north, whence comes the great white cleaning wind;
- The red one for the east, whence springs the light and where the morning star lives to give men wisdom;
- The yellow one is the south, whence come the summer and the power to grow.