Site Search

INDIAN GHOST DANCE

 
 

BOYCOTT Yahoo Search Engine and Mac Afee Virus Protection
 For Unfairly Labeling this and another Native American Web Site
as "UNSAFE". 
 Read Details...

 

HANDBOOK OF AMERICAN INDIANS, 1906, Frederick W. Hodge
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/history/indianadoption.htm

The articles/books presented are for their historical value only and are not necessarily the opinions of this website. While these articles/books can provide some insight to ways that have been lost, they are also written within the limitations and restrictions of the time in which they were written.
     A ceremonial religious dance connected with the messiah doctrine, which originated among the Paviotso in Nevada about 1888, and spread rapidly among other tribes until it numbered among its adherents nearly all the Indians of the interior basin, from Missouri river to or beyond the Rockies. The prophet of the religion was a young Paiute Indian, at that time not yet 35 years of age, known among his own people as Wovoka ('Cutter'), and 'commonly called by the whites Jack Wilson, from having worked in the family of a ranchman named Wilson.

     Wovoka seems already to have established his reputation as a medicine-man when, about the close of 1888, he was attacked by a dangerous fever. While he was ill an eclipse spread excitement among the Indians, with the result that Wovoka became delirious and imagined that he had been taken into the spirit world, and there received a direct revelation from the God of the Indians. Briefly stated, the revelation was to the effect that a new dispensation was close at hand by which the Indians would be restored to their inheritance and reunited with their departed friends, and that they must prepare for the event by practicing the songs and dance ceremonies which the prophet gave them. Within a very short time the dance spread to the tribes east of the mountains, where it became known commonly only as the Spirit or Ghost dance.

     The dancers, men and women together, held hands, and moved slowly around in a circle, facing toward the center, keeping time to songs that were sung without any instrumental accompaniment. Hypnotic trances were a common feature of the dance. Among the Sioux in Dakota the excitement, aggravated by local grievances, led to an outbreak in the winter of 1890-91. The principal events in this connection were the killing of Sitting Bull, Dec. 15, 1890, and the massacre at Wounded Knee, Dec. 29. The doctrine has now faded out, and the dance exists only as an occasional social function. In the Crow dance of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, a later development from the Ghost dance proper, the drum is used, and many of the ordinary tribal dances have incorporated Ghost-dance features, including even the hypnotic trances.

      The belief in the coming of a messiah, or deliverer, who shall restore his people to a condition of primitive simplicity and happiness, is probably as universal as the human race, and takes on special emphasis among peoples that have been long subjected to alien domination. In some cases the idea seems to have originated from a myth, but in general it play safely be assumed that it springs from a natural human longing. Both the Quichua of Peru and the Aztec of Mexico, as well as more cultured races, had elaborate messiah traditions, of which the first Spanish invaders were quick to take advantage, representing themselves as the long-expected restorers of ancient happiness. Within the United States nearly every great tribal movement originated in the teaching of some messianic prophet.

     This is notably true of the Pontiac conspiracy in 1763-64, and of the combination organized by Tecumseh and his brother, the prophet Tenskwatawa, shortly before the War of 1812. Of similar nature in more recent times is the doctrine formulated on Columbia river by Smohalla.

Handbook of American Indians, Frederick W. Hodge,1906
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/history/indianghostdance.htm

BACK TO ARTICLE/CHAPTER LIST                                         NEXT >>

The articles/books presented are for their historical value only and are not necessarily the opinions of this website. While these articles/books can provide some insight to ways that have been lost, they are also written within the limitations and restrictions of the time in which they were written. For example Carl Moon (1879-1948) wrote "About the only thing we have thus far overlooked taking from the Indian is his right to perform his religious rites with their accompanying dances in his own way." When in fact that right was also taken from them in 1890 and was only restored with the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978. Carl Moon saw himself as a visual historian belonging to both the scientific and artistic communities. This just shows that he was not aware of the "ban", because in his time information was not shared like it is today. ~ Spotted Wolf   (Read more about Carl Moon...)

Below are Links to American Indian Handbook Articles-

Below are Links to Wolf's Corner Articles- Contents---Register and Vote! ] Remembering The Great Chiefs ] Native American Legends & Stories ] Anglos Once Were Immigrants ] Handbook of American Indians, 1906 -Contents ] Native American Indians and the Eagle ] NA Names & Meanings ] Past Notable Native Americans-Pg 1 ] Past Notable Native Americans- Pg 2 ] Hill & Holler Thanksgiving Column ] A Thanksgiving Teaching ] On Being an Indian ] Where is Goyathlay's (Geronimo) Skull? ] Cochise ] Goyathlay (Geronimo) ] Mangas Coloradas ] Nana ]

Below are Links to the Main Pages which are also on the Side Menu
[ Home ] [ Contents of SnowwOwl's Website ] [ Flash News!-NA Current Issues ]
[ Music Options ] [ NA Information Contents Page ]
[ Native American People/Tribes-Contents ] [ Native American History-Contents ]
[ Powwow Information Contents Page ] [ Native American Life Living Art-Contents ] [ Native American-Leaders ] [ Hear the Voices of the People-Native American Testimony ] [ The Natural World ] [Native American-Recipes ]
[ SnowwOwl's Writings-Contents ] [ The Outraged Owl ] [ Spotted Wolf's Corner ]
[ Hill & Holler Column ] [ Wotanging Ikche ] [ So Says, Spirit Hawk ^i^ ]
[ Student Projects ] [ Guest Contributions Contents ] [ Dedicated People Contents ]
[ SnowwOwl-A Few SnowwOwl Feathers ] [ Featured Websites Contents ]
[ Featured Artists Contents Page ] [ Guest Log Archives Contents Page ]
[ Credits and Links ] [ Email Information ] [ Snowwowl's Website Awards ]
 

 

 
 

Created December 23, 2006

 
 
 

ORIGINAL SITE CREATED NOVEMBER 2001

RE- DESIGNED BY  WITTICISMSINK.COM 2007

HOSTED BY DINO-DRAGONWORLD.COM