Paiutes (Multicultural America:)
Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, or Thocmetony, was a Northern Paiute Indian who spent most of her life fighting for peace and justice for her people. As a young girl she learned English, and in 1860, following the wishes of her grandfather, she enrolled in a Catholic convent school in California; however, she was forced to withdraw within a few weeks when wealthy parents objected to the admission of an Indian as a student. During the 1860s and 1870s, she served as an interpreter for and mediator between the U.S. Army and her people. In 1880, she began to lecture on the mistreatment of the Paiutes, and in 1882 she toured eastern cities, giving hundreds of speeches arguing for Indian rights. She taught in a school for Paiute children for several years, but died prematurely (in 1891) of tuberculosis.
It was at this time that the Paiute became known for the elaborate rites of the Ghost Dance, which originated in about 1870 thanks to the medicine man Wovoka (1858?-1932), who predicted that white rule would soon end in the West, replaced by a revived and newly strengthened Indian culture. The cult that surrounded Wovoka spread to other tribes, including the Sioux, who performed the rite just prior to being massacred by the hundreds at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1890.
Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins' book Life Among the Piutes, subtitled "Their Wrongs and Claims,"...
(The entire section is 5652 words.)
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