In order to clarify the mass of details that constitutes the body of this vol- ume, this introduction has been written to serve as a summary guide to the major cults described. The material has been presented by tribes or areas in the body of the book. This was done to give coherence to local developments and to show their interlocking nature. In the Summary of Contents, material is presented in terms of cults in order to balance the areal presentation.
It was soon evident in the course of field work that a complicated se- ries of interacting cults had developed as a consequence of the stimulus given by the 1870 Ghost Dance. The religious developments covered in this volume occurred during a period of sixty years beginning in 1871. It was a time of marked intra- and intertribal flux, during which Indian life un- derwent progressive disintegration. As a result, the early reactions, which were resistive to white encroachments, were gradually transformed into an acceptance of European habits and attitudes. These changes represent a closely integrated continuum in time and space. However, for descriptive purposes it is convenient to set up a series of categorical terms as points of reference on that continuum, if one bears in mind that the borders are blurred. In the title, "Ghost Dance" has been used as a general term to cover a series of generically related religious developments, but in the body of the book the term will be applied only to the first phase of the whole growth. The early manifestations consisted largely of doctrinal stress on the return of the dead and the end of the world, which in some vague su- pernatural manner would entail the elimination of the white people. The adherents believed these changes were imminent.
The Ghost Dance proper had two main strands of diffusion. The cult originated among the Paviotso of Walker Lake in Nevada and spread to the Washo, the Paviotso of Pyramid Lake, Klamath Reservation, and Surprise Valley, to the Modoc, Klamath, Shasta, and Karok tribes. It was
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Publication information: Book title: The 1870 Ghost Dance. Contributors: Thomas Buckley - Author. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 2007. Page number: 1.
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