The Ghost Dance Among the Lakota

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Preserving Native American culture is an effort that is pervading the anthropological and cultural work of today, and without the work of past observers like Z.A. Parker – certain pieces of history could have been missing from books permanently. In this short memoir-like article, Parker recalls attending a Lakota ghost dance ritual in October in the 1890’s. Describing everything from the names of participants to what they wore, this narrative is a time capsule into the Lakota traditions of the past. Perhaps in one of the most striking moments of the narrative, members of the tribe disclose that the trances and unconscious renderings were unbelievable but were continued anyway out of a sense of tradition, much like many of the practices of white settlers of the time.