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Nebraska State Historical Society
Hon. J. STERLING MORTON, President,
Publication : THE SECRETARY, S. L. GEISHARDT,
and S. D. Cox.
Obituaries : R. W. FURNAS, Geo. L. MILLER,
and W. H. ELLER.
and J. M. WOOLWORTH.
and J. H. CANFIELD.
The spiritual chants, or "ghost songs,” were an important part of the religious ceremonies incident to the coming of the Indian Christ. They seem to have sprung spontaneously from the fervor and suffering of the occasion, joined to the inherited superstitions and passions of a race still standing in the early dawn of its civilization. The terrible ending of what is popularly termed the "Messiah Craze," in the wanton murders and cruel massacres of hundreds of unoffending people, has passed into history as one of the stains upon the national honor of the United States. But the weird songs and dances, the prophetic trances and visions, the faith, the patient anguish and the passionate supplications to the Great Spirit of
NOTE.--The "Ghost Dance of the Shoshones," of which a photograph is reproduced for the frontispiece, illustrates Genl. Colby's statements. A full explanation of the time and place of the photograph is given later in the Notes,