Ghost Dancer

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Although violence and rebellion against white Americans was never a part of the Ghost Dance, many Lakota a once proud warrior society were willing to die to protect it.

Ghost Dancer Hoodie

By the late s, countless Lakota traditions had already been banned by the government. It seemed they had few alternatives left other than to use force against their oppressors - from reservation police, government agents, and the military, to white settlers - in defense of their culture and the few traditions they had left. In reaction to the years of intense battle, loss of land, broken treaties, and cultural restrictions, those Lakota who practiced the Ghost Dance began to make sacred shirts that were believed to be bullet-proof.

This sacred clothing was worn by all believers - man, woman, or child - as an outside garment during the sacred dance, but it was also thought to have been worn at other times under ordinary dress. The dead are still alive again. I do not know when they will be here; maybe this fall or in the spring. When the time comes there will be no more sickness and everyone will be young again.

Do not refuse to work for the whites and do not make any trouble with them until you leave them. When the earth shakes at the coming of the new world do not be afraid. It will not hurt you. I want you to dance every six weeks.

Ghost Dance

Make a feast at the dance and have food that everybody may eat. Then bathe in the water.

That is all. You will receive good words again from me some time.

Do not tell lies. We drove to this spot about We came upon tents scattered here and there in low, sheltered places long before reaching the dance ground. Presently we saw over three hundred tents placed in a circle, with a large pine tree in the center, which was covered with strips of cloth of various colors, eagle feathers, stuffed birds, claws, and horns-all offerings to the Great Spirit.

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The ceremonies had just begun. In the center, around the tree, were gathered their medicine-men; also those who had been so fortunate as to have had visions and in them had seen and talked with friends who had died. A company of fifteen had started a chant and were marching abreast, others coming in behind as they marched.

The American West

After marching around the circle of tents they turned to the center, where many had gathered and were seated on the ground. I think they wore the ghost shirt or ghost dress for the first time that day. I noticed that these were all new and were worn by about seventy men and forty women. The wife of a man called Return-from-scout had seen in a vision that her friends all wore a similar robe, and on reviving from her trance she called the women together and they made a great number of the sacred garments.

They were of white cotton cloth. The women's dress was cut like their ordinary dress, a loose robe with wide, flowing sleeves, painted blue in the neck, in the shape of a three-cornered handkerchief, with moon, stars, birds, etc. In the hair, near the crown, a feather was tied. I noticed an absence of any manner of head ornaments, and, as I knew their vanity and fondness for them, wondered why it was. Upon making inquiries I found they discarded everything they could which was made by white men.

Ghost Dancer Font on Behance

The ghost shirt for the men was made of the same material-shirts and leggings painted in red. Some of the leggings were painted in stripes running up and down, others running around. The shirt was painted blue around the neck, and the whole garment was fantastically sprinkled with figures of birds, bows and arrows, sun, moon, and stars, and everything they saw in nature.

Down the outside of the sleeve were rows of feathers tied yb the quill ends and left to fly in the breeze, and also a row around the neck and up and down the outside of the leggings. I noticed that a number had stuffed birds, squirrel heads, etc. The faces of all were painted red with a black half-moon on the forehead or on one cheek.

ozubipynyd.tk As the crowd gathered about the tree the high priest, or master of ceremonies, began his address, giving them directions as to the chant and other matters. After he had spoken for about fifteen minutes they arose and formed in a circle. As nearly as I could count, there were between three and four hundred persons.

Addrisi Brothers -Ghost Dancer

One stood directly behind another, each with his hands on his neighbor's shoulders. After walking about a few times, chanting, "Father, I come," they stopped marching, but remained in the circle, and set up the most fearful, heart-piercing wails I ever heard-crying, moaning, groaning, and shrieking out their grief, and naming over their departed friends and relatives, at the same time taking up handfuls of dust at their feet, washing their hands in it, and throwing it over their heads.