|Ghost Dance Religion|
Wovoka (Jack Wilson), a Paiute mystic from Nevada, revived the teachings of Tävibo, a fellow member of the Paiute tribe, next a serial of powerful visions starting fourth dimension inward 1886. H5N1 brusk fourth dimension later, Wovoka began instructing proselytes inward the Wanagi Wacipi (Ghost Dance, or the Dance of the Souls Departed), a sacred ceremony designed to hasten earthly renewal for all American Indians, living as well as dead.
Wovoka’s teachings spread chop-chop amidst a dispirited as well as hungry people assigned to desolate western reservations. Government officials, frightened settlers, as well as Christian missionaries responded to the Ghost Dance’s popularity alongside alarm.
To complicate matters, newspapers flooded the populace alongside exaggerated tales of an Indian Messiah as well as impending rebellion. The unconfirmed conspiracy allegations afterward culminated inward the murder of Sitting Bull, a respected Hunkpapa chief, as well as the massacre of 150 American Indian men, women, as well as children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, inward Dec 1890.
When the Lakota tribe learned most the Wanagi Wacipi inward 1889 they dispatched a delegation to consider Wovoka as well as to bring together inward the dancing. After the delegation returned to South Dakota the next April, tribal leaders convened a council.
To quell whatsoever disturbance that the proposed gathering mightiness cause, the government’s Indian agent inward Pine Ridge, South Dakota, arrested 3 of Wovoka’s disciples as well as detained them until the prisoners offered assurances that no councils would live held. Other Indian agents inward the Dakotas withheld rations until the dancing stopped.
The popularity of the ritual led many non-Indian observers to conclude that widespread dancing was a precursor to armed rebellion. Residents of both Dakotas panicked when they learned of the Ghost Dance’s allure. Charles Hyde, a resident of Pierre, South Dakota, informed the secretarial assistant of the interior that he had obtained data most a planned Indian outbreak.
Although an investigation afterward revealed that at that topographic point was no drive for apprehension, tensions remained high. On 26 September 1890 residents of Mead County wrote to Thomas J. Morgan, the commissioner of Indian affairs, warning that Indians were planning an uprising. Perain P. Palmer, Cheyenne River’s novel agent, confirmed that dancers alongside Winchester rifles were preparing for the arrival of a messiah.
Political leaders took notice when Kicking Bear carried a militant version of the Ghost Dance to Standing Rock inward the Dakotas. James McLaughlin, Standing Rock’s agent, expressed grave problem concern when Sitting Bull, a Hunkpapa primary as well as symbol of American Indian resistance, expressed an involvement inward the ceremony. Although McLaughlin successfully evicted Kicking Bear from Standing Rock, the dance’s popularity continued unabated throughout the Dakotas.
The Newspaper War
During the autumn of 1890 reporters flooded the Dakotas. Rex Alan Smith, writer of the acclaimed Luna of Popping Trees (1981), comments that the resulting “newspaper war” inflamed an already unstable situation.
Reporters from the Chicago Daily Tribune, Omaha Daily Bee, Harper’s Weekly, as well as the New York Times emphasized the hostile nature of the Ghost Dance religion, when, inward reality, Wovoka emphasized peace as well as brotherhood. “War correspondents” who rushed to the scene also paid a Pine Ridge “news factory” to render them alongside melodramatic conspiracy stories as well as titillating rumors.
As a result, reporters on the scene flooded the uninformed American populace alongside outright lies. Local newspapers, specially the Pierre Free Press as well as the Rapid City Journal, also contributed to the settlers’ unwarranted fears.
In an endeavor to halt the hysteria, Charles Moody, editor of the Sturgis Weekly Record, as well as Elaine Goodale Eastman, a noted educator living inward the Dakotas, condemned the “wild as well as wooly paper liars.” Terrified North as well as South Dakotans, however, ignored the pleas for calm.
By September 1890 the Ghost Dance had also reached the Cheyenne, Arapaho, as well as Kiowa communities of the Southern Plains. Newspapers inward Guthrie, El Reno, as well as Oklahoma City also circulated rumors of frenzied dancers, scalping parties, as well as impending warfare. Not surprisingly, terrified inhabitants responded to the tidings past times requesting military machine protection.
During this period, however, Thomas J. Morgan was completing a tour of the western reservations. His visits to the Southern Plains convinced the commissioner of Indian affairs that the reports from Oklahoma were grossly exaggerated. H5N1 subsequent investigation, which flora no evidence of danger, advocated a policy of noninterference until the dancing had stopped.
The Ghost Dance War
Daniel F. Royer, the novel agent at Pine Ridge, buckled nether the pressure level of the escalating crisis. Fearful for his ain safety, a frightened Royer informed his superiors that 3,000 crazed Indians were dancing inward the snow. Royer as well as other agents reported that they were at the mercy of “wild as well as crazy” Indians. Fearing the worst, bureaucrats informed the Dakota agents that President Benjamin Harrison had authorized the purpose of military machine forcefulness to suppress the Ghost Dance on fourteen Nov 1890.
doc Valentine McGillycuddy, a quondam agent at Pine Ridge, rushed to the scene. In his opinion, the presence of armed soldiers alone exacerbated the threat of violence. Many dancers, alarmed at the troops’ presence, fled to the security of the Stronghold, a natural Badlands fortress located fifty miles northwest of the agency. McGillycuddy, an eyewitness to the unfolding tragedy, correctly predicted that at that topographic point would live problem unless the soldiers straightaway withdrew from the region.
On xi Dec 1890 Sitting Bull requested permission to move to Pine Ridge. Rather than allow the Lakota primary to bolster the Ghost Dance’s popularity, General Nelson A. Miles approved James McLaughlin’s asking to arrest Sitting Bull, the dance’s “high priest as well as leading apostle.” Four days afterward a bungled arrest endeavor resulted inward Sitting Bull’s murder.
Angry Hunkpapas, fearing for their ain safety, bolted Standing Rock as well as fled to Indian camps along the Cheyenne River inward South Dakota. Although Hump, a Miniconjou adherent of the Ghost Dance, had surrendered peacefully on 21 Dec 1890 at Fort Bennett, Big Foot’s band decided to flee to Pine Ridge.
Major Samuel M. Whitside’s Seventh Cavalry lastly caught the desperate band of 370 Indians at Porcupine Butte as well as escorted them to Wounded Knee Creek on 28 Dec 1890. The side past times side solar daytime Colonel James Forsyth gave orders to disarm the Indian camp. During the subsequent search a scuffle ensued, causing a rifle to fire. The soldiers, fearing that they were existence attacked, responded alongside deadly force. When the smoke cleared about 150 Lakota men, women, as well as children lay dead.
Following the tragedy at Wounded Knee Wovoka withdrew from the spotlight as well as encouraged the Ghost Dance adherents to move the “white man’s road.” He died inward Yerington, Nevada, on iv Oct 1932. Sadly, the jingoism of the “war correspondents” assigned to encompass the Ghost Dance inward the Dakotas contributed to the bloody episodes of Dec 1890. The Wounded Knee tragedy was the culmination of 30 years of armed conflict betwixt the U.S. military machine as well as American Indians.
Although never completely removed from the public’s consciousness, the Ghost Dance organized religious belief as well as the Wounded Knee massacre received renewed involvement during the modern civil rights displace as well as the takeover of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, past times members of the American Indian Movement inward 1973.