Native American Ghost Dance

For my Cultural Anthropology class we are to write an essay on a topic that has to do with a culture; be it religion, food, an actual culture of people. I had picked Traditional Native Americans. Being Cherokee/Choctaw I know a little bit about Native American history.

In my essay I’m adding powwows and some of the dances. One of the dances is the Ghost Dance.

The Ghost Dance began in the 1860’s; created by a Northern Paiute Indian named Wodziwab.  He and his son Wovoka were the first Ghost Dance prophets. They both foresaw that all Indian ancestors will return and that all the whites would die, the Native American’s will be saved and the Great Spirit will return to Earth and live among them. The prophets began having a group of followers and taught them that this arrival would come more quickly if they began doing certain rituals such as, a series of dances, songs and wearing special painted clothing; these special painted shirts were to protect them from bullets.

Ghost Dancing soon spread to other tribes, including the Sioux. The Government was scared of the Sioux Ghost Dancing because they knew the meaning behind it and ordered them to stop. Only a small group listened, but the ones that didn’t met a tragic end. On 28 and 29 of Dec, 1890 the Seventh Cavalry arrived at Wounded Knee, killing 350 Sioux Ghost Dancers. Most of them were women and children.

With the Native American population declining heavily and the white population increasing rapidly, Ghost Dancing came to a stop.

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