Ghost Dance

Lydia Arrington

Ghost Dance is a  group dance of a late 19th century American Indian messianic cult believed to promote the return of the dead and the restoration of traditional ways of life.

Ghost dancing is a dance dedicated to the dead, and the ritual goes something like this "When you get home you must begin a dance and continue for five days. Dance for four successive nights, and on the last night continue dancing until the morning of the fifth day, when all must bathe in the river and then return to their homes. You must all do this in the same way. ...I want you to dance every six weeks. Make a feast at the dance and have food that everybody may eat." -- (

Ghost dancing started with the Native Americans. Their spiritual leader, Wovoka, thought that this was a great way to reunite with the dead and bring peace and prosperity. Ghost dance started among the Northern Palute (Nevada), but swept across Western USA in no time. The significance of the dance to was reach the goal of living a clean and honest life. (Wikipedia)


Ghost dancers usually wear black bands, loose rags, and feathers around their waist.

Movement & Performance

There is no particular movement in ghost dancing. It's just expressing feelings, especially feelings of anger or guilt. (

Role of Ghost Dance

Historical accounts as the ghost dance of 1890, the Ghost Dance was a religious movement incorporated into numerous native american belief systems. First performed in accordance with Jack Wilson's teachings among the Nevada Paiute in 1889. The Native Americans performs it today. It's still performed in California and Nevada. It's performed when they have a ceremonial.(


The music was made up by the Native Americans and they shared the songs and the dance with each other. "Father I Comes Singing " was a song created by Sioux and it is  said that this song was chanted. Father I Come Singing was a song about going to heaven. (

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