Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Smoak, Gregory E., 1962-

Title Ghost dances and identity : prophetic religion and American Indian ethnogenesis in the nineteenth century / Gregory E. Smoak
Published Berkeley : University of California Press, [2006]
Online access available from:
JSTOR eBooks    View Resource Record  
ProQuest Ebook Central Subscription    View Resource Record  
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (1 volume)
Contents "Snakes" and "diggers" : the origins of new ethnic identities -- Shamans, prophets, and missionaries : new religion in the nineteenth century -- Treaty making and consolidation : the politics of ethnogenesis -- "Twotrails" : resistance, accommodation, and the 1870 ghost dance -- Culture wars, Indianness, and the 1890 ghost dance -- Ghost dances and American Indian identity
Summary 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
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Bannock Indians -- Ethnic identity.
Bannock Indians -- Religion.
Bannock Indians -- Rites and ceremonies.
Ghost dance -- History -- 19th century.
Shoshoni Indians -- Ethnic identity.
Shoshoni Indians -- Religion.
Shoshoni Indians -- Rites and ceremonies.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0520246586 (cloth ; alk. paper)
0520941721 (electronic bk.)
1423731379 (electronic bk.)
9780520941724 (electronic bk.)
9781423731375 (electronic bk.)