Black Elk of the Sioux has been recognized as one of the truly remarkable men of his time in the matter of religious belief and practice.
Black Elk was the only qualified priest of the older Oglala Sioux still living when The Sacred Pipe was written. This is his book: he gave it orally to Joseph Epes Brown during the latter's eight month's residence on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where Black Elk lived. Beginning with the story of White Buffalo Cow Woman's first visit to the Sioux to give them the sacred pip, Black Elk describes and discusses the details and meanings of the seven rites, which were disclosed, one by one, to the Sioux through visions. He takes the listener through the sun dance, the purification rite, the "keeping of the soul," and other rites
The wakan Mysteries of the Siouan peoples have been a subject of interest and study by explorers and scholars from the period of earliest contact between whites and Indians in North America, but Black Elk's account is without doubt the most highly developed on this religion and cosmography. The Sacred Pipe, published as volume thirty-six in the Civilization of the American Indian Series, will be greeted enthusiastically by students of comparative religion, ethnologists, historians, philosophers, and everyone interested in American Indian life.
Kaipo Schwab is an actor, director, and producer who has worked at the Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Public Theater, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, GeVa Theater, Pan Asian Rep, and New York Theatre Workshop. In 2004 he directed part of ABC's Cultural Diversity Showcase. His film and television credits include Anesthesia, Fair Game, The Royal Tenenbaums, It Could Happen to You, All My Children, The Protector, Law & Order, New York Undercover, Can Openers, Rescue Me, and Cosby. He can also be seen on Netflix's Orange Is the New Black playing the role of prison medic, Igme Dimaguiba. Audiobook credits include Jimmy Breslin's The Good Rat (2009 Benjamin Franklin Award winner), Walter Dean Myers' We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart (2013 Audie nomination) and Marilyn Singer's Full Moon Is Rising. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, he attended the British American Drama Academy and is a graduate of Boston University College of Fine Arts. Kaipo and his wife, Hope, live in New York City with their son, Giovanni, and their one-eyed pug, Wink.