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Wovoka
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Native American Icon
    (1856-September 20, 1932)
    Born in Smith Valley, Nevada
    Northern Paiute leader, medicine man
    Birth name was Quoitze Ow
    Later known as Jack Wilson
    'Wovoka' allegedly means 'cutter' or 'wood cutter' in the Northern Paiute language
    Founder of the 'Ghost Dance' movement which swept across the American West in the late 19th Century
    Claimed to have had a prophetic vision, during a solar eclipse, entailing the resurrection of the dead Paiutes and removal of whites from North America (January 1, 1889)
    Portrayed by Wes Studi in HBO's 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' TV movie (2007)
    He identified as the Paiute Messiah.
    School textbooks frequently tag him as 'a false prophet.'
    He claimed to be able to control the weather.
    Sarah Winnemucca referred to his prophecies as 'nonsense.'
    False rumors circulated for years that he was the son of Wodziwob, the leader of the first wave of the Ghost Dance.
    He allegedly claimed to have been rendered immune to bullets with special 'ghost shirts.'
    He prophesized that whites would vanish from the earth and then acted shocked when his followers exhibited open anti-white hostility.
    The unrest that came from the Ghost Dance craze indirectly led to the brutal Wounded Knee Creek Massacre in 1890.
    After the massacre, he wisely decided to 'get the hell out of dodge,' foregoing any & all interviews and living life in general obscurity.
    Sitting Bull ended up getting scapegoated and blamed for starting the Ghost Dance hysteria, which eventually caused his attempted arrest and accidental shooting by Ghost Dance protesters (1890).
    He was orphaned as a teenager.
    Many of his followers referred to him as 'grandpa.'
    He was illiterate and left virtually no private writings.
    He taught kindness, mutual brotherhood, and forgiveness.
    He is the namesake for a popular 1974 Redbone album.
    He remains a relevant cultural icon in many American Indian tribal communities.
    He was capable of accurately predicting the dates of earthquakes and eclipses.
    He preached tolerance between Indians and whites (albeit because he believed that hostility would only delay their spiritual demise...)
    The overwhelming reception to his movement was reflective of the desperation and hardship faced by American Indians at the time.
    His spiritual teachings were a blend of his father's Paiute mysticism and the evangelical Christianity he was taught by the ranchers he lived with and worked for.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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