Also found in: Wikipedia.


(smōhăl`ə), c.1815–1907, Native American prophet, chief of a small tribe (the Wanapun) of the Columbia River valley. He preached a religion based on a vision of returning to Native American modes of living. His followers, called the Dreamers, did not advocate force, but they caused some difficulty to the government in its policy of forcing Native Americans to settle on reservations.


See C. Relander, Drummers and Dreamers (1956).

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Approximately 70 years later, on the opposite side of the American continent, Wanapum tribal leader Smohalla is reported to have said to U.
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.
At Pna, on the Columbia, in the late nineteenth century, a mystic among them called Smohalla led the chants of the Dreamers.
20) In the mid-1850s, other Nativistic religious movements in the Northwest were underway, led by Smohalla, the Wanapam dreamer-prophet and Washani religious revitalizer.
And indeed, two hundred years later the Indian chief Smohalla had not yet been weaned from these notions and practices.
Leaders such as Neolin, Handsome Lake, Tenskatawa, Yonaguska, Yurareechen and Dlaupac, Kenekuk, Smohalla, and Wovoca (among many others) all led religious movements of return to Native traditions as a means of resisting religious oppression.