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When the sun died, I went up to heaven and saw God and all the people who had died a long time ago. God told me to come back and tell my people they must be good and love one another, and not fight, or steal, or lie. He gave me the dance to give to my people. Wovoka

When you get home you must make a dance to continue five days. Dance four successive nights, and the last night keep up the dance until the morning of the fifth day, when all must bathe in the river and then disperse to their homes.

I, Jack Wilson, love you all, and my heart is full of gladness for the gifts you have brought me. When you get home I shall give you a good cloud which will make you feel good. I give you a good spirit and give you all good paint. I want you to come again in three months, some from each tribe there.

Grandfather says, when your friends die you must not cry. You must not hurt anybody or do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life.

Do not tell the white people about this. Jesus is now upon the earth. He appears like a cloud. The dead are all alive again. I do not know when they will be here; maybe this fall or in the spring. When the time comes there will be no more sickness and everyone will be young again.

Do not refuse to work for the whites and do not make any trouble with them until you leave them. When the earth shakes do not be afraid. It will not hurt you.

I want you to dance every six weeks. Make a feast at the dance and have food that everybody may eat. Then bathe in the water. That is all. You will receive good words again from me some time. Do not tell lies. Wovoka

In the story of ghost dancing, the Ogalala heard that the Son of God was truly on earth in the west from their country. This was the year 1889. The first people knew about the messiah to be on earth were the Shoshoni and Arapaho. So in 1889 Good Thunder with four or five others visited the place where the Son of God was said to be. These people went there without permission. They said the messiah was there at the place, but he was there to help the Indians and not the whites; so this made the Indians happy to find out this. Good Thunder, Cloud Horse, Yellow Knife, and Short Bull visited the place again in 1890 and saw the messiah.

In the following spring the people at Pine Ridge agency began to gather at the White Clay creek for councils. Just at this time Kicking Bear, from Cheyenne River agency, went on a visit to the Arapaho and said that the Arapaho there have ghost dancing. He said that people partaking in dance would get crazy and die, then the messiah is seen and all the ghosts. When they die they see strange things, they see their relatives who died long before. They saw these things when they died in ghost dance and came to life again. The person dancing becomes dizzy and finally drops dead, and the first thing they saw is an eagle comes to them and carried them to where the messiah is with the ghosts. George Sword

Now there will be a tree sprout up, and there all the members of our religion and the tribe must gather together. That will be the place where we will see our relations. But, before this time, we must dance the balance of this moon, at the end of which time the earth will shiver very hard. Whenever this thing occurs I will start the wind to blow. We are the ones who will then see our fathers, mothers, and everybody. We the tribe of Indians, are the ones who are living a sacred life. God, our Father, himself has told and commanded and shown me to do these things. Our Father in Heaven has placed a mark at each point of the four winds; first, a clay pipe, which lies at the setting of the sun and represents the Sioux tribe; second there is a holy arrow lying at the north, which represents the Cheyenne tribe; third, at the rising of the sun there lies hail, representing the Arapaho tribe; and fourth, there lies a pipe and nice feather at the south, which represents the Crow tribe. My Father has shown me these things, therefore we must continue this dance.

Now we must gather at Pass Creek, where the tree is sprouting. There we will go among our dead relations. You must not take any earthly things with you. Then the men must take off all their clothing, and the women must do the same. No one shall be ashamed of exposing their persons. My Father above has told us to do this, and we must do as he says. You must not be afraid of anything, The guns are the only things we are afraid of but they belong to our Father in Heaven. He will see that they do no harm. My relations, this is all. I will now raise my hand up to my Father and close what he has said to you through me. Short Bull

I love my children - Ye’ye!

I love my children - Ye’ye!

You shall grow to be a nation - Ye’ye!

You shall grow to be a nation - Ye’ye!

Says the father, says the father.

Haye’ye’ Eyayo’yo’! Haye’ye’ E’yayo’yo’!

Lakota Ghost Dance Song

A delegation of Lakotas, including “He Dog, Flat Iron, Yellow Knife, Brave Bear, Twist Back, Yellow Breast and Broken Arm,” along with Short Bull and Kicking Bear, traveled in September 1889 to Nevada to learn about the Ghost Dance from Wovoka. They returned in March of 1890 and began sharing what they learned with residents of the Lakota reservations. Their version of the Ghost Dance was in some ways similar to the Lakota Sun Dance, but in other ways it encouraged a wider range of people to participate.