Wovoka and the Ghost Dance

SKU: 0803273088

Michael Hittman
Grade Levels:
College, University
Paiute, Plateau
Book Type:
Nebraska Press
Copyright Data:

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Wovoka and the Ghost Dance, expanded edition, offers the reader a detailed account of the life and teaching of the Northern Paiute (Numu) prophet Wovoka (Jack Wilson). The author has compiled a substantial amount of primary source documentation about a misunderstood person of the American West. After 25 years of research, Michael Hittman approached the Yerington Paiute Tribe of Nevada with a proposal to publish a definitive book on the man and his revelations. The Tribe agreed and the original source book was published in 1990 as part of their centennial celebration of Wovoka's 1889 Great Revelation. Many readers will know the story of the man whose visions resulted in the Ghost Dance fervour among the Nations of the Plains. However, the author sets out to find the truth behind the man and his visions. Chapters deal with the confusion surrounding Wovoka due to the limited number of primary sources; a detailed account of his family, early years, and the visions; Wovoka's prophesies; and his final years. Supplementing the text are several appendices that reproduce interviews, newspaper accounts, government reports and letters, and transcripts of interviews with tribal and family members. 33 archival photographs of Wovoka and members of his family and community enhance the text. This text is a fine example of the use of oral history in the writing of a biography of an important figure in the American West. Unfortunately no index is provided. Anyone interested in Native American history and spirituality will find this resource beneficial and enlightening.

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