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1 / 16 / 96 Ghost Dance at Wounded Knee The Ghost Dance came about by a Paiute Indian farmer named Wovoka. Wovoka s Ghost Dance came from a vision he d had in which all the ancestors and buffalo rose from the dead, restoring the old Indian way of life forever. Wovoka added some things from other religions to make the Ghost Dance full fledge religion. One main idea that Wovoka borrowed was the idea of sacred clothing that would protect the wearer from harm. The Ghost Dance religion spread among the Indians when Sitting Bull, one of the Sioux resistance leaders, thought it would be good that there be something his people could have left to hope for. Sitting Bull earned his membership in the elite Strong Heart Society of warriors before he turned 17.
He earned this for the bravery he showed when he went on raids when he was young with his father, and his original name was Slow. Sitting Bull was given his name after the solitary buffalo that came to his father one night as a sign. With the sweep west of more and more settlers due to the California gold rush, the Indian s lands that the U. S.
government originally had given them were being taken away little by little until finally they started to take away large chunks so they could start to mine for gold on the land. Sitting Bull was determined to resist and he did. In 1868, he led a group of Sioux who refused to sign a treaty confining the tribe to a reservation, and this defiance inspired thousands of Indians from others tribes to join the cause. For about the following nine years Sitting Bull and his resistance could be found fighting the Army on and off due to violations made by the Army of the Sioux treaty so the could prospect for more gold on the Indians reservations.
One of the most famous encounters was in June of 1876 where Sitting Bull and his fugitive Sioux clashed with Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his 200 cavalry. Custer and his men were slaughtered in the battle and many of Sitting Bulls legions went separate ways for they knew this battle would have heavy repercussions on them.
Then five years later Sitting Bull s men made a deal with government that if they turned themselves in there would be a pardon for there leader. Well they lied and Sitting Bull was arrested in July of 1881. Sitting Bull went to prison for two years then went on to travel in Buffalo Bill Cody s traveling Wild West Show. Then on December 15, 1890, Sitting Bull was shot in the head during a scuffle between some of his men and police. After Sitting Bull died things just started to get worse for the Indians and they decided to go to Pine ridge and look for leadership from another resistance leader Chief Red Cloud. But three days into their journey to Red Cloud cavalry troops intercepted them and the Indians surrendered, being to tired and worn out from their journey in the snow.
The Indians were brought to Wounded Knee Creek, where the Indians were guarded by two cavalry units and heavy duty Hotchkiss machine guns. On the outside of the group of Indians at the camp, a medicine man named Yellow Bird, started a Ghost Dance. This frightened the troops and they decided to do another search for weapons. When the troops were going to collect the weapons of the Indians again they found more guns and a gun shot went off, and the cavalry troops panicked. They opened fire on the Indians, then after most of there men were out of the way the Hotchkiss guns opened fired and tore everything to shreds. As the soldiers fired they cried, Remember Custer, and after the smoke from all of the guns cleared 25 soldiers were dead and the 290 Sioux were all dead!
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