Wovoka


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Wovoka

(wōvō`kə), c.1858–1932, PaiutePaiute
, two distinct groups of Native North Americans speaking languages belonging to the Shoshonean group of the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock (see Native American languages).
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, prophet of a messianic religion sometimes called the Ghost DanceGhost Dance,
central ritual of the messianic religion instituted in the late 19th cent. by a Paiute named Wovoka. The religion prophesied the peaceful end of the westward expansion of whites and a return of the land to the Native Americans.
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 religion. Also known as Jack Wilson, he was influenced by his father (a mystic) as well as by the Christian family for whom he worked and the ShakerShakers,
popular name for members of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, also called the Millennial Church. Members of the movement, who received their name from the trembling produced by religious emotion, were also known as Alethians.
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 religion. Wovoka claimed that during an eclipse of the sun (Jan. 1, 1889) he had had a vision in which God had given him a message—the time was coming when the earth would die and come alive again; all whites would disappear from the earth's surface, and all native people, living and dead, would be reunited to live a life free from death, disease, and misery. In order to bring this about, however, the Native Americans would have to follow Wovoka's doctrine of pacifism and practice the sacred dance he taught them. To make his message more convincing, Wovoka proved his supernatural powers by simple tricks, one of which, the supposedly bulletproof ghost shirt, was to play a tragic part in the massacre of the Sioux at Wounded KneeWounded Knee,
creek, rising in SW S.Dak. and flowing NW to the White River; site of the last major battle of the Indian wars. After the death of Sitting Bull, a band of Sioux, led by Big Foot, fled into the badlands, where they were captured by the 7th Cavalry on Dec.
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. Before long his stature grew from Paiute prophet to Messiah, and his religion, which spread rapidly through the western indigenous nations, took on warlike overtones never intended by its founder. The great popularity of Wovoka's ghost dance waned as his prophecy failed to materialize and as his converts were forced onto reservations.

Bibliography

See biography by P. Bailey (1957, repr. 1970).

Wovoka

(?1858–1932) Paiute visionary, founder of the Ghost Dance religion; born on the Walker River in present-day Nevada. His father, a religious mystic, died when Wovoka was about 14 and he went to work with a white family, the Wilsons; he was known to whites as Jack Wilson. At the end of 1888, he had a vision that drew on a mixture of Indian and Christian religious teachings: he claimed that the Messiah would return Native Americans to a pre-contact existence—and rid the continent of whites—if Indians would live in harmony and in traditional ways and, above all, dance the Ghost Dance. His message spread quickly among the tribes of the Great Plains and the Northwest and they began to adopt the Ghost Dance and regard Wovoka as a great deliverer. The Sioux became especially fervent in their adoption of this cult; their restiveness culminated in the murder of Sitting Bull and the massacre at Wounded Knee. The Ghost Dance cult lost its appeal for most Indians, and during the next decade, Wovoka moderated his message and advised Indians to accommodate themselves to the whites' ways. He spent his final years on a reservation in Nevada.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sometimes Wovoka himself was identified as the wanikiye" (Steltenkamp, Nicholas Black Elk, p.
While this passage is meant to exemplify his loss of identity due to never having known his father, it also ties Zits to the Ghost Dance, which came to Wovoka on January 1,1989, during a solar eclipse.
The dream of Smohalla and Wovoka that a messiah would rid the American continents of Europeans was, like the early Jewish messiah, discarded, but it evolved into a smoldering sense of entitlement that cannot be debated.
It originated with the peaceful Paiute prophet Wovoka (Jack Wilson), and is best known as the historical reason for the gathering on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890, when over 300 Indians, including defenseless women and children, were massacred by U.
In 1890, Wovoka, a Paiute influenced by Shakers, started the Ghost Dance Religion in the Northwest, and it spread quickly to the Plains.
Less familiar than the famed Ghost Dance movement of Wovoka that spread to the northern plains in 1890 and culminated in the infamous Wounded Knee massacre, the 1870 movement, although originating among the Paiute (Numa) of Nevada's Walker Lake region, took on diverse dimensions as it spread west.
The Brian Ellison-trained 13-2 chance did not go unbacked and his followers were rewarded with a length-and-a-quarter success over Wovoka.
When he finally returned, the ghost dance movement to eliminate Europeans and restore harmony, led by spiritualist Wovoka, was in full swing.
In 1889 a new Indian spiritual leader by the name of Wovoka came to the people.
Native American Elder, Wovoka, opened the drumming event by describing the Ceremony for the Future of the World's Children.
Wovoka, Acheekyone and Beau Nash all reoppose after meeting at Newmarket two weeks ago.
The Sioux were defeated in battle, but hope emerged in the Drying Grass Moon on October 9, 1890, when word came to the Sioux about a Paiute messiah named Wovoka in Nevada, who had founded a new religion, a Christian-pagan fusion called the Ghost Dance.