Skip to content

A Whirlwind Passed through Our Country: Lakota Voices of the Ghost Dance

in stock, ready to be shipped
Original price $39.95 - Original price $39.95
Original price $39.95
$55.99 - $55.99
Current price $55.99
The inception of the Ghost Dance religion in 1890 marked a critical moment in Lakota history. Yet, because this movement alarmed government officials, culminating in the infamous massacre at Wounded Knee of 250 Lakota men, women, and children, historical accounts have most often described the Ghost Dance from the perspective of the white Americans who opposed it. In A Whirlwind Passed through Our Country, historian Rani-Henrik Andersson instead gives Lakotas a sounding board, imparting the multiplicity of Lakota voices on the Ghost Dance at the time.

Whereas early accounts treated the Ghost Dance as a military or political movement, A Whirlwind Passed through Our Country stresses its peaceful nature and reveals the breadth of Lakota views on the subject. The more than one hundred accounts compiled here show that the movement caused friction within Lakota society even as it spurred genuine religious belief. These accounts, many of them never before translated from the original Lakota or published, demonstrate that the Ghost Dance’s message resonated with Lakotas across artificial “progressive” and “nonprogressive” lines. Although the movement was often criticized as backward and disconnected from the harsh realities of Native life, Ghost Dance adherents were in fact seeking new ways to survive, albeit not those that contemporary whites envisioned for them. The Ghost Dance, Andersson suggests, might be better understood as an innovative adaptation by the Lakotas to the difficult situation in which they found themselves—and as a way of finding a path to a better life.

By presenting accounts of divergent views among the Lakota people, A Whirlwind Passed through Our Country expands the narrative of the Ghost Dance, encouraging more nuanced interpretations of this significant moment in Lakota and American history.

ISBN-13: 9780806160078

Media Type: Hardcover(First Edition)

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

Publication Date: 05-03-2018

Pages: 432

Product Dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Rani-Henrik Andersson holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Tampere in Finland. He has served as the McDonnell Douglas Chair, Professor of American Studies at the University of Helsinki and is currently working as a Core Fellow at the University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He has published a number of scholarly articles about topics in Native American history, and has held a position as a visiting research fellow at Indiana University where he worked with Lakota experts Ray DeMallie and Doug Parks. Andersson is the author of The Lakota Ghost Dance of 1890 (University of Nebraska Press, 2008). Raymond J. DeMallie is Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Indiana University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Foreword Raymond J. DeMallie ix

Acknowledgments xi

List of Abbreviations xiv

Introduction 3

Part 1 "We the tribe of Indians, are the ones who are living a sacred life." 37

Part 2 "We did not think we were doing any harm by dancing our religious dances." 145

Part 3 "They see their relatives who died long before." 245

Part 4 "Messíya Itóqšni"-"The Lie of the Messiah" 323

Afterword 385

Appendix: Chronology of Events during the Lakota Ghost Dance Period 390

Bibliography 393

Index 401