The Sacred Hoop Prayer Garden is a living symbol of the Hoop of the World from the vision of the Oglala Lakota Holy Man Black Elk, found in John G. Neihardt's, Black Elk Speaks. The Prayer Garden was designed by Neihardt. The symbolism is explained on signs along the quiet garden paths.
The Hoop is divided into quarters, each with its own peculiar power, color and symbol. The Hoop itself is a symbol of the vastness of the universe, "so big, " Black Elk said, "it has everything in it."
The West is symbolized by the color blue or black and the power to make live and to destroy. The North is white, symbolizing cleansing and healing. The quarter of the East is symbolized by red and the power of enlightenment which brings understanding and peace. The South is resplendent in yellow to symbolize the power to grow.
Two roads cross the Hoop of the World, one from east to west, and one from south to north.
Like sunrise an sunset, life appears to progress from east to west on a hard black road of worldly difficulty. The red road from south to north is one of spiritual understanding.
Where the two paths cross each other is holy, there springs the tree of life to shield us, filled with leaves, blossoms and singing birds.
Visitors may stroll through the garden and enjoy the detailed explanations of the Garden symbolism as described from Neihardt's, Black Elk Speaks.
Hours: The Garden is open for viewing at all times. The Neihardt Center is open on an hourly schedule.
Address: Elm and Washington Streets, off Hwys 77, 51, and 16 in northeastern Nebraska
Come visit us in Bancroft, Nebraska