Shoshone Ghost Dance Religion

Shoshone Ghost Dance Religion : Poetry Songs and Great Basin Context

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The Ghost Dance, which led to the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, was a widespread Native American religious movement. Judith Vander's path-breaking "Shoshone Ghost Dance Religion" demonstrates that it was not a single religion, but had two branches - the Great Basin branch, a nature religion typified by Shoshone Ghost Dance songs (Naraya), and the Plains branch documented by famed anthropologist James Mooney in 1896. Based on extensive fieldwork with two Shoshone women in Wyoming, Vander's work presents 130 Naraya songs, the largest collection of new Ghost Dance material since Mooney's publication. She thoroughly analyzes the poetic texts, rich imagery, and musical style, demonstrating their high artistic achievement. Connecting the Shoshone Ghost Dance to the ancient religious traditions of the Great Basin, Vander provides the cultural background for understanding the intent of the religion and its songs.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 688 pages
  • 159.5 x 234.7 x 42.7mm | 1,219.23g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English, Central American Indian languages
  • Illustrations, maps, music, ports.
  • 0252022149
  • 9780252022142

Review quote

"Vander's study offers a unique window for peering into the 1890 Ghost Dance, a companion piece to Mooney's classic study." Michael Hittman, author of Wovoka and the Ghost Dance: A Source Book
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