Wovoka


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Related to Wovoka: Wounded Knee, Ghost dance religion

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 ?
It is nice to see her win, but the prize money (pounds 2,590) is so bad they could have paid us in Easter eggs - mind you the prize Wovoka won (pounds 4,857) was worth having
David Barker, trainer of Wovoka "He's in good form at home, is a course and distance winner and should go well as long as they go fast enough.
Barker was full of praise for Hamilton's handling of Wovoka, who was slottedin behind the leaders and was only produced to lead inside the last.
Wovoka has been a bit disappointing and, although he's dropped in grade, it's probably a bit too hot for him.
Ridden by Danny Tudhope, the five-year-old responded to a first-time visor to beat Wovoka by three-quarters of a length.
Benandonner won the Shergar Cup Mile, when Wovoka had a poor run on the rails.
Sue Harding, secretary to Mick Channon, trainer of South Cape and Wovoka
STRUGGLE: Wovoka 't find it easy to the weight away in the London Paddy Power Gold Cup at Newbury today
He remembers listening to his grandmother and the other elders tell the old stories, many of them about the prophecies of Wovoka, the Paiute mystic and creator of the Ghost Dance movement, which was said to have the power to bring back the dead and drive White interlopers out of Indian lands.
There is furthermore an interesting example from North American material, of the leader of the Ghost Dance, Wovoka, (5) who twenty years later became the leader of a different tribal group, which dramatizes the relationship between the "fullness of time" and the personality and message of the prophet.
Foremost among the prisoners of war (POWs) were Kicking Bear and Short Bull, both of whom had earlier been selected to travel to Nevada to meet with the "Messiah", a Paiute medicine man named Wovoka.