Unsettled Colonialisms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


On December 29, 1890, US Colonel James Forsyth led five hundred soldiers to Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where they confronted a camp of three hundred fifty Lakota men, women, and children. The soldiers held a misguided fear about the Ghost Dance, an Indigenous response to settler colonialism that had emerged out of the visions of Wovoka, a Paiute religious leader, and grown into a religious movement that spanned Indigenous tribes. The Ghost Dance was a ritualized performance intended to bring back life – ancestors, bison, land – and ways of life that settler colonialism had been violently eliminating. Settlers perceived this practice as threatening and indicative of an impending Indigenous uprising; this misunderstanding of the Ghost Dance motivated the US troops to disarm and open fire on the camp, killing nearly three hundred Lakota, many of whom were women and children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Literature in Transition, 1876 -1910
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781108763714
ISBN (Print)9781108477505
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities

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