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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