Black Elk: on the circle of life

Nicholas Black Elk, daughter Lucy Black Elk and wife Anna Brings White, photographed in their home in Manderson, South Dakota, ca 1910. US public domain via wikimedia
Nicholas Black Elk, daughter Lucy Black Elk and wife Anna Brings White, photographed in their home in Manderson, South Dakota, ca 1910. US public domain via wikimedia

“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round… The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.  Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours… Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” — Black Elk, Oglala Sioux, 1863-1950