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Question: Jesus and his followers where crucified for their beliefs, name another incident in world history something similar happened? Describe it in full extent.

The Native American Messiah and his Cult (1856-1932)

Quoitze Ow was known most commonly by his boyhood name Wovoka (the Wood Cutter) or his adoptive name Jack Wilson. He was born in 1856 or 1857 as a Numu Indian at Walter Lake, which is in present day Nevada. Wovoka was known to have a vision on New Year’s Day 1889 when he fell into a coma while suffering from scarlet fever, an event that was followed by a total solar eclipse. In this vision, Wovoka was transported to heaven where he spoke to God, who assured him the Messiah, Jesus Christ was already on earth and that soon the buffalo would return, game animals would abound, and the dead Indians would be reunited with their kin in an earthly paradise As for the whites, they would either disappear or somehow be assimilated into the native new world order.

The Ghost Dance was a form of a tradition round dance that was to be performed five or six nights after this vision was received. They called themselves the Ghost Dancers, men and women, hand in hand, moved sideways and in a circular motion around a fire, singing songs that varied for group to group. Followers of the Ghost Dance religion believed that performing this dance, along with carrying out peace thoroughly with Christian behaviors would ensure Wovoka’s vision of paradise. The Seventh Cavalry shot a band of starving Sioux, at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation, because the government’s Indian agent had become panicky about the activities of the Ghost Dancers.

A Minneconjou Sioux named Kicking Bear and his brother-in-law Short Bull made the trip southwest to the land of the Fish Eaters or known as the Paiutes to find about this new religion. The word had spread to the plains. They met the Paiute Messiah, learned the songs and dances of the Ghost Dance religion and upon there return, they introduced them to the Sioux on the Rosebud, Cheyenne River, and Pine Ridge Reservations. Sitting Bull, one of the most notable of the Sioux chiefs and a participant in the defeat of George Custer at the Little Bighorn River, had his doubts about the power of the Ghost Dance. However, he was willing to have the religion introduced among his people at the Standing Rock Reservation. He was a rebel and heard that the government Indian agents had called for soldiers to stop the dances. James McLaughlin, the agent who was charge of the Standing Rock Reservation was particularly upset about the Ghost Dance. He called it a “pernicious system of religion” for all that its main code of beliefs were Christians.

By November 1890 the agent in the Pine Ridge Reservation had telegraphed Washington: “Indians are dancing in the snow and are wild and crazy… We need protection and we need it now.”

Sitting Bull, as one of the most visible and eminent of the Sioux was singled out by those fearful of the Ghost Dace. It was shortly before dawn on December 15, 1890 that the Indian police under the command of Lieutenant Bull Head surrounded Sitting Bull’s cabin. Although Sitting Bull cooperated, outside the cabin a crowd of Ghost Dancers urged him to resist arrest. A man named Catch-the-Bear pulled out a rifle and shot at Bull Head. As Bull Head fell, he attempted to shoot back at Catch-the-Bear. His bullet struck Sitting Bear instead; Red Tomahawk, another of the India police, then shot the old chief in the head, killing him.

Less then ten days after Sitting Bull’s murder, the call came for the arrest of the Big Foot, an elderly Minneconjou Sioux, who was suffering in the cold from pneumonia. His people also had been participants of the Ghost Dance and with little resistance possible, Big Foot led them to surrender in the Wounded Knee, on the Park Ridge Reservation. Surrounded by cavalry, the Indians were halted and counted: 120 men and 230 women and children. The next morning Colonel James W. Forsyth of the Seventh Cavalry ordered the men outside and announced that they were to be disarmed. Some weapons were given up, but the soldiers persisted in their search. A young man named Black Coyote, who may have been deaf, refused to hand over his Winchester rifle. The soldiers seized him and Black Coyote’s rifle discharged or fired. The violence began and soldiers shot indiscriminately at the assembled men and the women who at the sound of gunfire, had run to the scene. Then the big Hotchkiss guns positioned on the surrounding hills began to fire, and in a short time the massacre was complete. Big Foot and the majority of his people were dead.

Later in the day, the soldiers returned to the scene and loaded the wounded Sioux into wagons. Only four men and forty-seven women and children left standing. Because a blizzard was approaching, the dead Indian were left where they had fallen. After the storm had passed on New Year’s Day of 1891, white settlers were paid two dollars a corpse to pick them up. They gathered the dead frozen Sioux, photographs show their bodies were tossed into a mass grave.




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