Through the dance, the dead will rise. The buffalo will return and the land will be free of white involvement.
Walker River, Nevada
A Northern Paiute Medicine Man named, Wodziwob—Gray Hair, was into his third day entirely alone on a high plateau in Nevada when something spectacular occurred. The Paiute people, like most Indian cultures, believed the Great Spirit worked through dreams that often revealed the future. Unconvinced whether it was a vision or a dream, and not particularly concerned with how it came to him, he believed he saw the future.
He saw himself in another world where he was told that a golden age for the Indian was at hand. For the vision to become a reality certain things needed to occur; songs, chants, and prayers were required while performing a circle dance during times of no sun—nighttime. The result would be that Indian tribal life would soon return, the dead would come back to life, and the animals the Indians had traditionally hunted—the buffalo—would be restored.
When his prophecies remained unfulfilled, Wodziwob sought new visions, which also remained unfulfilled. The dance he championed was practiced for a time, but when his predictions failed to materialize the dance was abandoned by the Northern Paiute.
Around 1870, another Northern Paiute named Tävibo had prophesied that white people would disappear from the earth and the dead would return to life as it was before the white man came. With claims that he could communicate with the dead, Tävibo taught his followers a ceremonial dance that had them dance in a circle for extended periods while singing. If their mind was strong and their dance sincere, the changes he prophesied would be brought to fruition.
My next post will introduce Wovoka and an outline of the part he played in bringing the Ghost Dance to the Lakota people.
To learn more about the falsehoods used by the U.S. Government to steal Lakota land and their inability to destroy a resilient people, get your copies of The Thirty-Ninth Man–A Novel of the 1862 Uprising and the concluding history in Tears Of Sorrow-A Free Nation Lost click here. Both books weave fictional characters through a tapestry of historical facts.
At seventy-six, I’m at the beginning of a new chapter in a life filled with blessings from above, adventure, love of family, and kinships reaching into the heavens and to God himself. —AND— I love to tell a story.