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Paper Topic:

ghost dance

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December 1 , 2006

Ghost Dancers

The original Ghost Dance appeared on the Walker Lake Reservation in Nevada in 1870 , and was initiated by a Northern Paiute Indian named Wodziwob , or Gray Hair ' to his contemporaries (History ,

. 1 Apparently Wodziwob had a visionary experience sometime in the late 1860 's in which he went , in some sort of trance , to another world . In this world he was told that an Indian renaissance was close at hand . By the 1870 's , in

the wake of the Civil War , Indian fortunes were at a low point . Wodziwob was the precursor to Wovoka , who would come later on however they both had the same wish for their people , which was for them to regain their freedom from the White Man , and for the killing to stop .The United States was intent on controlling Indian life as well as assimilating the Indian population into the white man 's ways and life The Indians were moved by the U .S . Government from place to place , and they were suffering from starvation and disease , with no relief in sight . The government had managed to confine nearly all of the Indian population on reservations , and , in general , on lands that were so poor that the white man could envision absolutely no use for himself . The white men actually felt they were doing a favor for these Indians by allowing them to live , albeit on lands that were worth nothing - lands that did not lend themselves to farming or supporting themselves in any way . Graft and corruption were rampant in the Indian Bureau .and a move was made to recruit Quakers to take the positions as Indian Agents however not nearly enough Quakers responded to the call for volunteers ' The Quakers were felt to be honest and upright , and the original idea was that they could change the course of what was happening on the Indian Reservations , but it was not to be (Imaging br

. 1

It was at this time that other denominations came into the picture and opened up on the Indian reservations , attempting to convert the Indians to Christianity , a move that had somewhat mixed results . By 1890 conditions on the reservations were so bad , with so many Indians literally starving to death , that the situation was ripe for a major movement to rise among the Indians . Wodziwob 's vision had told him that the old ways , the tribal Indian life would be returning soon , and that the dead would miraculously come back to life (History ,

. 1 Wodziwob believed that the buffalo that the Indian had hunted for years and years would return , and would be plentiful . The Indian people would be restored to the health and good fortune they had known before the advent of the white man (History ,

. 1 . Wodziwob 's movement spread beyond the Paiute to other tribes , and the Indians were instructed to perform certain round dances at night in...

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