A religious dance of the North American Indians, participated in by both sexes, and looked upon as a rite of invocation the purpose of which is, through trance and vision, to bring the dancer into communion with the unseen world and the spirits of departed friends. The dance is the chief rite of the Ghost-dance, or Messiah, religion, which originated about 1890 in the doctrines of the Piute Wovoka, the Indian Messiah, who taught that the time was drawing near when the whole Indian race, the dead with the living, should be reunited to live a life of millennial happiness upon a regenerated earth. The religion inculcates peace, righteousness, and work, and holds that in good time, without warlike intervention, the oppressive white rule will be removed by the higher powers. The religion spread through a majority of the western tribes of the United States, only in the case of the Sioux, owing to local causes, leading to an outbreak.
One of the most noted and famous of all Native American spiritual traditions, this quasi-religious movement was founded in the mid 1800s on the basis of a ceremony designed to pay homage and respect to the spirits of the dead, in hopes that these ghosts would offer assistance and protection against the westward migration of white settlers.
A Native American response to Euro-American encroachments on their land and way of life. A powerful apocalyptic vision of the overthrow of white domination and a return to traditional Native American ways, the Ghost Dance sparked a pan-Indian, intertribal movement that frightened white authorities with its intensity. Started by the Paiute prophet Wovoka, who believed himself to be a Messianic figure, the Ghost Dance involved adopting traditional clothing and customs, singing and chanting traditional songs, and participating in a trance-inducing round dance designed to inspire dead Indian ancestors to return and reclaim their land. The movement ended tragically when white authorities killed 150 Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee for their involvement in the Ghost Dance religion.
Indian religion centered on a ritual dance; it held out the promise of an Indian messiah who would banish the whites, bring back the buffalo, and restore the land to the Indians
a religious dance of native Americans looking for communication with the dead
Ghost Dance is John Norman's 1979 historical fiction novel wherein a Sioux man and his tradition comes in conflict with a white woman and her civilization as the Wounded Knee Massacre approaches. As with the Norman's main body of work, "The Chronicles of Gor," Norman displays both philosophical reaction and an affinity with incorporating historical events with the actions of fictional characters.