“Wovoka: (1858-1932) Paiute religious leader. In 1899 Wovoka announced that during a trance God had told him that his people’s ancestors would rise from the dead, buffalo would return to the plains, and the white man would vanish if the people would perform a ritual dance, the Ghost Dance. The cult quickly spread to other tribes, notably the militant Sioux, and Wovoka was worshiped as a new messiah. After the Wounded Knee massacre, Wovoka’s following dissipated and the movement died out.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

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