Definition of Ghost Dance in US English:

Ghost Dance


  • A North American Indian religious cult of the second half of the 19th century, based on the performance of a ritual dance that, it was believed, would drive away white people and restore the traditional lands and way of life. Advocated by the Sioux chief Sitting Bull, the cult was central to the uprising that was crushed at the Battle of Wounded Knee.

    • ‘The story begins with accounts of the Ghost Dance, a religion that arose in 1888 from the visions of a Nevada Paiute named Wovoka.’
    • ‘The final major encounter between Indians and the U.S. Army, Wounded Knee grew out of the revitalization movement known as the Ghost Dance that swept western Indian reservations in 1889-90.’
    • ‘For example, my late 1990s poem ‘Ghost Dance’ literalizes through fantasy the late 1800s Native American belief that the Ghost Dance would restore America to its precolumbian state.’
    • ‘There is a vast library of historical and cultural works about the Lakotas, many of which focus on the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee.’
    • ‘The United States Government recognised this in the last century when it prohibited the Ghost Dance.’