I recently talked with another member of this site about the Lakota members of the delegations sent to the Ghost Dance prophet Wovoka. There seems to be much confusion in history books about the definite delegates. Everybody knows about Kicking Bear and Short Bull, but what about the others?
There have been at least two delegations of Lakotas.
Many books cite James Mooney. Here is the first list:
Autumn 1889 delegation to Wovoka: From Pine Ridge: Good Thunder, Yellow Breast, Flat Iron, Broken Arm, Cloud Horse, Yellow Knife, Elk Horn, Kicks Back From Rosebud: Short Bull, Mash-the-Kettle From Cheyenne River: Kicking Bear
According to Black Elk these Lakotas visited Wovoka: Good Thunder, Yellow Breast, Brave Bear
In the Hittman/Lynch biography on Wovoka we find a long and detailed list of about a dozen Indian delegations. Interestingly it lists some of the names Mooney has as Lakotas among the Arapahos:
November 1889 delegation: Northern Cheyenne: Porcupine Arapahos: Flat Iron, Yellow Breast, Sitting Bull, Friday, Broken Arm Lakota: Short Bull, Kicking Bear Shoshones from Ft.Hall Second delegation of Lakotas in 1890 included Good Thunder, Cloud Horse, Yellow Knife, Short Bull
Summer 1890: 12 Cheyennes and Arapahos: Porcupine, Big Beaver, Ridge Walker and others
Can anyone clarify this and tell us more about the members of the delegations?
In George Hyde´s "A Sioux Chronicle" (page 240) we find yet another list of delegates.
Hyde stated that the Pine Ridge chiefs first sent Good Thunder and Cloud Horse on a mission to Wovoka in late 1889. They returned soon after New Year 1890.
The second party, according to Hyde, left soon after the first in winter 1890 to make another trip: From Pine Ridge: Good Thunder, Cloud Horse, Yellow Knife From Rosebud: Short Bull, Flat Iron, Yellow Breast, Broken Arm On their way west they were joined by Kicking Bear from Cheyenne River and some Cheyenne and other Indians.
The Pine Ridge party returned in late March or early April 1890.
In Hyde´s book we find Mash-the-Kettle help Short Bull spread the word about the Ghost Dance at Rosebud, although he wasn´t a delegate to Wovoka himself.
Post by writespretty on May 24, 2012 9:31:26 GMT -5
From a newspaper article Malvern, Iowa March 12, 1891
"Seated on the straw that forms a floor for his tent Short bull, one of the Indian prisoners at Fort Sheridan, yesterday told for the first time the story of his visit to the Shoshones and kindred tribes in search of information about the coming of the messiah. Strolling Indians are constantly moving from band to band within the limits of each tribe to make distant pilgrimages to visit other tribes. The story that Short Bull told of his trip was repeated sentence by sentence by the interpreters, John Bruigier and John Shaugran, and is follows: 'In the summer time -- not last summer, but the one before -- an Arapahoe Indian had been visiting Washakie's band of Shoshones came east and visited the Indians at Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud agencies. He told us that the buffalo were coming back and that the white people would all be killed. He could not tell much about it, but said that Washakie knew all about it. There was much talk about this among the Indians, and when the ground froze I started out to make Washakie a visit to learn more. With me went Turning Hip, Kicking Bear, and Yellow Breast. We traveled nearly a month before we came to the home of Washakie. Whenever we met Indians on the road we asked them if the buffalo were coming back, and they said yes, and that some of the young men of Washkie's band had been down south the summer before and had seen a man who was to bring the buffalo and at the same time take away the whites. We hurried on and reached Washakie when the white chiefs were having a feast (probably Thanksgiving Day, 1889.)
We stayed with Washakie until the wa-pom-an-ee (Indian agent) told us we must go home. Washakie said that the stories we had heard were true, and some of his young men said that when they were visiting the other Shoshone agency the summer before they saw the new chief and that by rubbing his hands together he could make money and spring wagons. When we were sent away from Washakie's tepee and told to go home Kicking Bear and Yellow Breast did as they were told, but I wanted to see these things for myself, so I started south to find the man who could do these things. Turning Hip went with me. When we left Washakie the white chiefs were having a big feast and plenty of whiskey.' This was probably during the Christmas holidays in 1889."
The article continues.
I have not read any books yet about the Ghost Dance. I will. Was this account quoted in any of your books? Should I start with George Hyde's "A Sioux Chronicle"?
Is this newspaper article is to be taken seriously as to when Yellow Breast was part of a delegation to visit Wavoka? It puts him with Short Bull in November of 1889. Why is Turning Hip not listed in any of the above references?
Quote from Jeffrey Ostler´s footnotes in “The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee” (Cambridge University Press 2004, page 243/244):
The sources for this delegation give different lists of names and dates. Selwyn [William T. Selwyn] to Foster, 25 Nov. 1890, states that the delegation departed in the fall and included Good Thunder, Short Bull, Kicking Bear, Yellow Breast, Broken Arm, Flat Iron, and two unnamed others. Another account by Short Bull, in “Wanagi Wacipi,” LT&T, 277, states that a delegation left Pine Ridge in June 1889 and consisted of him, Kicking Bear, Brave Wolf, Thunder Horse, Turn Over Back, Scare Them, and Gray Horse. Another account by Short Bull, “As Narrated by Short Bull,” Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum, Golden, Colo., evidently written sometime in the 1890s when Short Bull was employed by “Buffalo Bill” Cody, states that the delegation let in fall 1889 and included him, Kicking Bear, Twist back (the same as Turn Over Back?), Scatter, He Dog, Flat Iron, Yellow Knife, Brave Bear, Yellow Breast, and Broken Arm (p. 2). To add to the confusion, Robert M. Utley, The Last Days of the Sioux Nation (New Haven, 1963), uses the names in Selwyn´s account for the fall 1889 delegation but adds Cloud Horse and Yellow Knife, who are mentioned in George Sword, “The Story of the Ghost Dance,” The Folk-Florist 1 (July 1892): 28-29 (also in James Mooney, The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890, Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1892-93, pt. 2 [Washington, D.C., 1896], 797-98), evidently without realizing that Sword reported these names from a second delegation in 1890. Utley also adds the names of Cloud Horse, Kicks Back (the same as Twist Back/Turn Over back?), and Mash-the-Kettle (probably the same as Breaks-the-Pot-on-Him, mentioned in Luther Standing Bear, My People the Sioux, ed. E.A. Brinistool [1928; Lincoln, 1975], 218). Although it is impossible to resolve the discrepancies about the names in these accounts, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the first delegation did not leave until fall 1889, despite the June date in the LT&T account.
Jayne, I guess that Turning Hip is yet another name of Twist Back aka Turn Over Back.
Last Edit: May 24, 2012 10:29:34 GMT -5 by Dietmar
one of the best works on the Ghost Dance - in my eyes - is this one:
The Lakota Ghost Dance of 1890 by Rani-Henrik Andersson U of Nebraska Press, 01.11.2008 - 437 Seiten
"Although the Lakota ghost dance has been the subject of much previous historical study, the views of Lakota participants have not been fully explored, in part because they have been available only in the Lakota language. Moreover, emphasis has been placed on the event as a shared historical incident rather than as a dynamic meeting ground of multiple groups with differing perspectives. In The Lakota Ghost Dance of 1890, Rani-Henrik Andersson uses for the first time some accounts translated from Lakota. This book presents these Indian accounts together with the views and observations of Indian agents, the U.S. Army, missionaries, the mainstream press, and Congress. This comprehensive, complex, and compelling study not only collects these diverse viewpoints but also explores and analyzes the political, cultural, and economic linkages among them."