The evolution of the Ghost Dance among the Lakota
Clough, Marina. 2016. The evolution of the Ghost Dance among the Lakota -- Lambda Alpha Journal, v.46, p.23-34
The Lakota are indigenous to North America, specifically to the Great Plains. They belong to the Sioux confederation, which is a confederation of seven related Sioux tribes. The Lakota themselves are divided into seven tribes, which include the Sičháŋǧu, Oglála, Itázipčho, Húŋkpapȟa, Mnikȟówožu, Sihásapa (also known as Blackfeet), and Oóhenuŋpa. In Pre-Columbian times, the Lakota had a simple life. Then, everything changed when the Europeans came to the Americas. Their old way of life, religion and all, changed drastically. This was due to Americans moving west to find a better life. Manifest Destiny led people to believe that the land in the west was given to them by God. In the late 1800s came the Ghost Dance, along with the decimation of the Lakota's way of life. They signed treaties with the US Government, but they were unaware that they were signing their lives away. With the spread of the Ghost Dance came the US Army and the massacres of the Lakota. The US Government didn't understand this new religion that thousands of Native American Lakota, and others, started practicing. They were completely unaware that the Ghost Dance was extremely similar to Christianity itself. In this paper, I will examine how the Lakota's traditional religion before it was affected by the onset of the white man, how some Lakota resisted the repression of the United States government, and the Ghost Dance and how it helped them cope with that repression.