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The Ghost Dance

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The Ghost Dance

The Ghost Dance was a very important custom performed by many Indians during the 1880's through the 1890's. During the 1890's, the Indian civilization started to die. The Ghost Dance was a dance that tried to bring back the dead and bring back the ways of the Indians. During those times the Indians were having a hard time dealing with all of the white men. The white men were trying to push the Indians out of their land. In these times, the white man had basic control over the reservation. That meant that the white man had control of the supplies and food that the Indians received. The white man did not take good care of the Indians, as partrayed in the movie Thunderheart. During the movie Thunderheart the white man is sent in to find out about a murder of one of the Sioux tribe's members. In the movie there is a revolt going on with a group called the ARM's that are trying to save their Indian culture. Just like back in the old days. The white man in the movie treats all of the Indians like they are dirt. The Indians turn out to be very smart people who have many talents. During the movie the main character, Ray Levoi starts to have visions and see many Indians doing the ghost dance. The main character is part Indian, but he does not believe that the Indians are his people. During the 1880's, that is when Wovoka had the vision of the Ghost Dance. Ever since that day he tried to get as many people as he could to join him to fight the white man. The ghost dance plays a major part in the movie Thunderheart and also plays a major role in the lives of the Indians.

During the movie Thunderheart, the white man is brought into the badlands of South Dakota to investigate a murder of an Oglala Sioux. The Indians on this reservation have been going through some bad times right now. The living and health conditions are very bad on this reservation. During the movie there is a movement by a group called the ARM's. They are trying to save their religion and faith. The white man is starting to take over and do whatever they want with their land. In the movie there is a man called Milton who is always beating on the Indians in any way he can. He has a bunch of G.O.O.N.S. behind his back to help him. He tries to take care of anyone that is under the ARM group; he is for the total opposite. Milton is trying to get the Indians to do things his way. He wants everyone to go to the twentieth century. The Indians want to do things their way so when they get in the way Milton takes care of them. The main character Ray is brought in to find out who the murder is and solve the case. He has three days to complete this mission. He is also teamed up with one of the best agents around. By the end of the movie we end up learning that Coutelle was the murderer and planned on ruining the land.

Ray the main character is brought on to the reservation to investigate what has happened. He encounters some Indians and does not really treat them well good. Ray has an Indian background to him. He really does not believe that those are "his people" even though that the Indians tell him that they are. Ray is not really fond of the Indians and he also thinks that they should update their customs. After talking to the Indian police chief he starts to learn that the Indians are smart. The Indian police told Ray to listen to nature, listen to the wind, the water, and the trees. Ray did not believe a word he said until the Indian police officer told he about himself without even knowing him for more that five minutes. Ray was amazed but did not show it. During his time on the reservation Ray started to have visions. In an Indian's life, it is very important to have visions. Sometimes an Indian will never have a vision in his whole life. As soon as Ray was brought to the reservation he started to have visions. Ray was brought to the reservation for a reason; the ancient ancestors brought Ray to help. After a while Ray was brought to see the medicine man, which is the grandfather. Ray wanted to find out if the old man had any information about the murder. The old man ended up telling him about the murder but Ray did not understand. The old man also told Ray about a child experience that he had with his Indian father. Ray was very ashamed of his Indian father. The old man told him all about it and made him very embarrassed. Now Ray knew that the old man and the police officer knew what they were talking about and could read a person just by looking at him.

The visions that Ray was having were of the Ghost Dance. Ray would see many men on a plateau dance and chanting. After a few second they would all disappear. The Ghost Dance was a very important tradition that the Indians performed. The Ghost Dance was a way for the Indians to separate themselves from the white man and the religion they were trying to force on the Indians. The Ghost Dance was one of the central rituals that tried to help the Indians restore their past. These traditions were just to basically reject the white man's way of life. The Indians were trying to reject the white mans traditions of using alcohol, weapons, and technology. Also the Ghost Dance was also a bringing together of tribes. Many of the tribes before were enemies, cause of the white man coming in, they joined sides and became allies. Many of the tribes were about to lose their freedom, their beliefs, their homes, and their existence. The Ghost Dance was a resurrection of the dead, it was a bringing back of the customs and the way of life that the Indians were trying to hold on to. There was one man that started this Ghost Dance movement.

The man that started this Ghost Dance movement was Wovoka. He was a member of the Paiute tribe, he also came from a family or prophets. Wovoka



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