Randy Granger

Randy Granger
In the Chihuahuan Desert near the Organ Mountains, New Mexico

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ghost Dancers video.

This is "Ghost Dancers" is from my new album 'A Place Called Peace.' The song was inspired by the Ghost Dance religion that tragically led to the Wounded Knee Massacre. Indian people at that time in the 1890's were having it hard. Hunger, disease, despair and extreme poverty was the story of the day. A new religion that came to the Pauite Shaman Wokova said by praying, meditating, chanting and dancing the Ghost Dance an Apocalypse would come and after that the ancestors would return and the Buffalo and the old ways of Indians before whites. Ideas like borders, ownership and especially alcohol would have to done away with.

Tragedy upon tragedy followed ending in the Wounded Knee Massacre where 290 men, women and children Indians were killed by a heavily armed 7th Calvary. The same Calvary Gen. Custer once commanded. There were reports that many of the soldiers yelled "remember Little Big Horn?" as they chased Indians into the hills, the majority of them unarmed. 29 soldiers also died though it is said that it might have been from "friendly fire" as the Indians had been disarmed that morning just before the slaughter began. 23 7th Calvary soldiers later received Congressional Medals of Honor. There is a well-known photo of Chief Big Foot dead in the snow. He was known as a peace negotiator, was elderly and ill with pneumonia when he as branded a "fomenter of disturbances."

What saddens me about the entire Ghost Dance tragedy is that it was essentially a messianic religion and they believed that Jesus was going to raise their ancestors and restore the natural balance and order. This as a peaceful movement akin to Gandhi's nonviolent movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy. That they were banned, persecuted and eventually murdered for practicing their religion is a tragedy that more Americans should know about. Peace begins with forgiveness. Understanding and recognizing such violence will help to know when it happens again and call attention to it before more tragedy ensues. There is so much more on the Ghost Dance story and I implore you to research for yourself. Hate begets hate. Compassion leads to empathy. In this video and blog I don't want to blame anyone and make anyone feel bad or sad. I'm trying to tell the story that inspired the song Ghost Dancers from my perspective. I welcome a respectful debate. Thank you for reading.


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