Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1

by Gregory Ellis Smoak
ISBN-10:
0520256271
ISBN-13:
9780520256279
Pub. Date:
03/11/2008
Publisher:
University of California Press
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Overview

Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century / Edition 1


This innovative cultural history examines wide-ranging issues of religion, politics, and identity through an analysis of the American Indian Ghost Dance movement and its significance for two little-studied tribes: the Shoshones and Bannocks. The Ghost Dance has become a metaphor for the death of American Indian culture, but as Gregory Smoak argues, it was not the desperate fantasy of a dying people but a powerful expression of a racialized “Indianness.” While the Ghost Dance did appeal to supernatural forces to restore power to native peoples, on another level it became a vehicle for the expression of meaningful social identities that crossed ethnic, tribal, and historical boundaries. Looking closely at the Ghost Dances of 1870 and 1890, Smoak constructs a far-reaching, new argument about the formation of ethnic and racial identity among American Indians. He examines the origins of Shoshone and Bannock ethnicity, follows these peoples through a period of declining autonomy vis-a-vis the United States government, and finally puts their experience and the Ghost Dances within the larger context of identity formation and emerging nationalism which marked United States history in the nineteenth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520256279
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 03/11/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents


List of Maps
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Endings and Beginnings

Part One. Identity and Prophecy in the Newe World
1. Snakes and Diggers: The Origins of Newe Ethnic Identities
2. Shamans, Prophets, and Missionaries: Newe Religion in the Nineteenth Century

Part Two. Identity, Prophecy, and Reservation Life
3. Treaty Making and Consolidation: The Politics of Ethnogenesis
4. Two Trails: Resistance, Accommodation, and the 1870 Ghost Dance
5. Culture Wars, Indianness, and the 1890 Ghost Dance

Conclusion: Prophecy and American Identities
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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