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Ghost Dance

GHOST DANCE, an American-Indian ritual dance, sometimes called the Spirit Dance, the dancers wearing a white cloak. It is connected with the doctrine of a Messiah, which arose in Nevada among the Paiute Indians in 1888 and spread to other tribes. A young Paiute Indian medicine-man, known as Wovoka, and called Jack Wilson by the whites, proclaimed that he had had a revelation, and that, if this ghost dance and other ceremonies were duly performed, the Indians would be rid of the white men. The movement led to a sort of craze among the Indian tribes, and in 1890 it was one of the causes of the Sioux outbreak.

See J. Mooney, 14th Report (1896) of Bureau of American Ethnology.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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