Native American Studies
THE ILLUSTRATED AMERICAN AND THE LAKOTA GHOST DANCE
How can people shut down such unity, so much passion and belief, when so many people came together after being in such a sad, dark place? A lot has changed since the 1890's, people used to have something special within themselves, such like a dream or a strong vision, in order to have hope for the future. The “ Illustrated American “ is the best example for that era.
For the Paiute Native Americans, the late 1800's were a very sad, dark time, with a lack of hope and positivity. The Paiute people were taught to talk to the plants and anything that had to do with nature, hoping for something in return. The people were looking for an answer, something to unite them, something to bring positivity to their culture again. After battling for so long, through all their tough times, the Paiutes finally caught their break, and were rewarded with a blessing.
A man with many names, but mostly known as “ Wovoka “ brought life to not just the Paiutes, but to pretty much all Native Americans across the country. Wovoka was thought as the “ traditional medicine man “ who would envision many types of dreams and would predict many things. Wovoka brought to the people something so strong and so electric that would unite many different states in the Indian Culture, “ The Lakota Ghost Dance “. This dance had brought together camps where Native Americans would dance, not just for a few hours, but for days, bringing the Native Cultures back to life.
After Wovoka had brought so many people together, “ An overwhelming force of 470 America soldiers confronted a large group of Native Americans at Wounded Knee. In the process of a final disarmament, gunfire broke out. Over 200 Native Americans, many of them women and children, were killed “.
I don't understand, how U.S soldiers could do that to so many innocent people, who especially had overcome so much adversity. That part of the article absolutely disgusted me. These innocent Native Americans, who came together, after a special human being took them under his wing and lead them to a place that brought them happiness and hope, were killed in a brutal massacre, for what I understood as, the Native Americans having something so positive, that the American Government felt threatened which I think is an absolute joke and a disgrace.
I personally feel that we have lost a lot of leadership in our society today, and reading this article made me realize that. Wovoka was a man filled with dreams. He was the type of person that people would turn to for answers, and we are as citizens today are lacking that outlet. Our unity over the past few decades has imploded, and you can tell that by the way our government is looked at. Wovoka had such a strong band…