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Black Elk Speaks

John Gneisenau Niehardt

Character Analysis White Cow Sees

Black Elk's mother, of whom readers see very little, shows maternal concern for her son when he suffers the illness that brings his great vision and weeps with happiness when he returns from his European trip with the Wild West Show. As is typical of Sioux women, she offers support and encouragement to her son in war: She praises him when he takes his first scalp at the Battle of Little Bighorn, and she rejoices when he returns from the massacre at Wounded Knee. Her husband and two of her children die during the course of Black Elk's story, but her reaction to those deaths is not recorded.