In 1931, Hilda Neihardt accompanied her father, John G. Neihardt to the Pine Ridge Reservation for interviews with a Sioux Holy Man, Black Elk. From these talks, the book Black Elk Speaks, was written by John Neihardt. Black Elk Speaks, to this day, remains essential reading for all people desiring to know more of Native American culture and spirituality.
The meetings had a profound affect on Hilda. Though an eager young girl of 14, she had been prepared by her father, through accelerated reading and study programs, to understand the meaning and importance of what she would be hearing. Black Elk gave her the name Day-break Star Woman, for he felt she had a desire for understanding an knowledge
“Respectfully impressed as I was when I first heard about the Sacred Hoop, it must have seemed no more than a vaguely beautiful idea to me. But, since I am no longer fourteen, I have learned in the only way such knowledge may be gained, what Black Elk meant when he said: “…it is not easy to live in this world.” As one of many and varied travelers on the Black Road of Worldly Difficulties, I am gaining a greater capacity to see, and perhaps more than a little strength to understand, the meaning and the power which lie within the beautifully simple idea of the Sacred Hoop.”