Ghost Dance


“Upon suffering beyond suffering, the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again. In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom.” -Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux Chief

“A vision came to me when the sun went into shadow, and I lay dying. And in my death, I saw the Heavens of the white robes. And yes, it is as they describe it. But also there, my children, all the Indians that ever roamed this earth, all your beloved ancestors, and mine, and those young ones who were taken by the white man’s diseases. Do not grieve for them. They want you to know that they are happy. Yes. And you should not grieve for yourselves, because here is what the white robes did not tell you- the white man, my children, will soon be no more. Now you must not hate the white man. This will only delay his end. But if you will do the dance that I will teach you, all the ancestors will return. And the buffalo will be renewed. And you shall all live forever. Forever in the freedom that we as Indian people once knew. ” –Wovoka, Paiute Shaman
It was a decade when the rapt attention of every American—indeed the eyes of the world—focused on happenings east of the Mississippi River. The battles and ultimately the end of the Civil War dominated the first five years, and efforts to reunite a broken nation the second five, punctuated by an assassination and a wake of political jockeying the likes of which had never been seen. No one was looking west—at least not keenly enough to have noticed the gatherings of elders, chiefs, shaman and warriors that took place on the Great Plains.  It was there that the seven-generations war began.
An excerpt from Ghost Dance:

“You possess something, my son, that eludes the white man. For they do not hear the voices of their fathers. They despise the visions and the wisdom of their elders. This is why so many of their elders no longer dream dreams or see visions, but their minds go soft in confusion. You, my son, must never let go of this treasure that you possess. Hear and understand.” The old man’s fingers bent, and his knuckles swollen with arthritis—he struggled to untie the cords that bound an old leather journal.

“These,” he tapped the journal with a disfigured index finger, “are the markings of Six Crows, your great-grandfather. Many believe that he refused to take the white man’s language and markings in protest, but it is not so. He used the markings of the fathers so only those wise to the fathers’ vision could read of it.” At last the bands were loosed and the pages of the journal fell open on the old man’s lap.

“These markings, my son, speak of the seven-generations-war.”