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The Ghost Dance Society of 1890

            The Ghost Dance Society of 1890 was the last ditch effort of the Sioux Indians to keep their culture and religion. Slowly but surely their land was being seized by the white man and they were being moved to reservations. Life for the Sioux Indians was not as it used to be. The ghost dance promised to bring back everything that the Sioux Indians had lost over the years to the white man. However instead of restoring the Indians" way of life, the ghost dance resulted in the end of the Indians way of life. .
             The ghost dance society gained popularity in early 1880 when the Sioux Indian people in the west were experiencing the loss of their traditional land and resources and the destruction of their way of life. Most of their people were dying of illness.(Utter,4) Their children were being taken away from them and they were being confined to reservations. The Sioux were desperate. Even their religion was being changed by the whites. .
             On January 1, 1889 a Paiute Shaman named Wovoka had a vision of world renewal for the plains Indians and their ancestors. Wovoka himself believed he was Christ the son of God(Utter,4). God ordered that Wovoka summon Indians from all tribes to hear the new message. God would deal with the whites when the time came. In order for this to happen the Indians had to perform a dance called the Dance of Souls departed, or Ghost Dance"(Utter 3). Immediately, Wovoka began preaching among the Paiutes. .
             If the Dance was performed all the Indians who had died would come back to life, and all of them would be young again and would enjoy their renewed earth forever(Utter 3). This was especially important to the Indians, because their ancestors were very important to them.
             The Sioux joined the ghost dance society because this was their last hope to returning to their native heritage. They joined with passion, because they believed that this ritual would restore them. They had run out of options.

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