Chief YellowHawk's Prayer
O Great Spirit, Whose voice I hear in the winds,
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I come before you, one of your children.
I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made,
my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you
have taught my people,
the lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength not to be superior to my brothers,
but to be able to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes,
so when life fades as a fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.
Chief Yellow Hawk
The life of an Indian is like the wings of the air.
That is why you notice the hawk knows how to get his prey.
The Indian is like that. The hawk swoops down on its prey; so does the Indian.
In his lament he is like an animal. For instance, the coyote is sly; so is the Indian.
The eagle is the same way.
That is why the Indian is always feathered up: he is relative to the wings of the air.
Black Elk (1863-1950)
Oglala Sioux Chief