/weuh voh"keuh/, n.
c1856-1932, Paiute religious leader: originator of the ghost dance religion.

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born 1858?, Utah Territory, U.S.
died October 1932, Walker River Indian Reservation, Nev.

Paiute religious leader.

In 1889 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 cult arose and 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.

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▪ American Indian prophet
also called  Jack Wilson  
born 1858?, Utah Territory
died October 1932, Walker River Indian Reservation, Nev.

      American Indian religious leader who spawned the second messianic Ghost Dance cult, which spread rapidly through reservation communities about 1890.

      Wovoka's father, Tavibo, was a Paiute shaman and local leader; he had assisted Wodziwob, a shaman whose millenarian visions inspired the Round Dance movement of the 1870s. Wovoka (whose name means “the Cutter”) worked during his early teens for a rancher, David Wilson, whose family name he adopted while among whites. The Wilsons employed a number of Paiutes (including Wovoka) on a seasonal basis. These employees resided together in a camp they built on the Wilson ranch, and they generally maintained traditional cultural practices throughout their employment.

      By 1888 Wovoka himself had acquired a reputation as a spiritual leader; he began leading Round Dances about this time. In 1889 Wovoka told others that he had fallen into a trance state during which God informed him of momentous changes to come—that in two years the ancestors of his people would rise from the dead, buffalo would once again fill the plains, and the white colonizers would vanish. Wovoka also reported that God had provided instructions for ensuring these events: Indians were to accept American colonial hegemony, remain peaceful, and profess their faith in the resurrection of the dead (or ghosts) by taking part in a ritual dance, the so-called Ghost Dance. Wovoka's following increased quickly, and belief in his prophecies spread to other tribes. Wovoka was worshiped far and wide as a new messiah, but in some areas his pacifist message became distorted through repeated retellings. Notable among his new followers were the Sioux, many of whom were militant and saw the movement as a promise of ultimate revenge against American usurpers.

      The religious frenzy engendered by Ghost Dancing frightened American and immigrant settlers, particularly in the Dakotas, the traditional home of most of the Sioux tribes; concurrently, the U.S. military was concerned that Sitting Bull would try to exploit the movement to engineer an uprising. Relations between Native Americans and settlers grew increasingly hostile, culminating in the massacre of about 200 Sioux men, women, and children by U.S. troops at Wounded Knee (q.v.), S.D., on Dec. 29, 1890. After this tragic incident many of Wovoka's more militant followers despaired of Ghost Dance redemption, while others, particularly those from west of the Rocky Mountains, continued to practice Ghost Dance rituals as an integral part of indigenous culture. Though the popularity of the Ghost Dance religion waxed and waned over the 20th century and evolved toward a set of practices centred increasingly around individual rather than group worship, its tenets continued to be observed by some Native Americans in the early 21st century.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Wovoka — (vermutlich der schneidet, auch Wevokar, Cowejo, Wopokahte, Kwohitsauq, Quoitze, Jackson Wilson, John Johnson oder Jack Wilson genannt; * um 1856; † 20. September 1932 im Walker Valley, Nevada, USA) war ein einflussreicher Prophet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wovoka — Wovoka, también conocido como Jack Wilson (Smith Valley, cerca de Carson City, Nevada, 1858 Reserva Walker River, 1932) fue un chamán y líder religioso paiute, hijo de Tävibo. Influido por mormones y cuáqueros, en 1880 tuvo visiones después de un …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wovoka — (¿1858?, territorio de Utah, EE.UU.–oct. 1932, reserva indígena del río Walker, Nev.). Líder religioso paiute. En 1889 anunció que, estando en trance, Dios le había comunicado que si la gente realizaba una danza ritual, los ancestros de su pueblo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wovoka — n. (c.1858 1932) Paiute medicine man who claimed to have received a divine message that one day all white people would vanish and all living and deceased Indian people would rise up and live together …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Wovoka — Wo•vo•ka [[t]wəˈvoʊ kə[/t]] n. big c1856–1932, Northern Paiute religious leader: revived the ghost dance religion 1889 …   From formal English to slang

  • Wovoka — /weuh voh keuh/, n. c1856 1932, Paiute religious leader: originator of the ghost dance religion …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wovoka (album) — Infobox Album Name = Wovoka Type = studio Artist = Redbone Released = 1973 Length = 29:46 Label = Epic Producer = Pat Vegas, Lolly Vegas and Alex Kazanegras Reviews = *Allmusic rating|2|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg… …   Wikipedia

  • Wowoka — Wovoka Wovoka (vermutlich der schneidet, auch Wevokar, Cowejo, Wopokahte, Kwohitsauq, Quoitze, Jackson Wilson, John Johnson oder Jack Wilson genannt; * um 1856; † 20. September 1932 im Walker Valley, Nevada, USA) war ein einflussreicher Prophet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ghost dance — a ritual dance intended to establish communion with the dead, esp. such a dance as performed by various messianic western American Indian cults in the late 19th century. [1885 90, Amer.] * * * Nineteenth century Native American cult. It… …   Universalium

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