Free to Dance? NOT!

We Will Dance! @evawojcik

In 1890 a religious concept called the “Ghost Dance” travelled from one Indian reservation to another to another.  I have no intention of discussing the merits of this religious exercise. Rather my focus is on the RIGHT to practice one’s religious beliefs in this place called “America.” In 189o this right was denied, and continued to be denied long thereafter, to Native Americans. First the right to freedom of religion was denied to Native Americans by every representative of  every white european religious doctrine that made its way onto the reservations in order to get a slice of the Native American population pie for conversion to its congregation.  This religious invasion was not about the saving of souls but the procurement of government school contracts–in other words, money.  Oh yes the all-powerful motivating force of money.  This is not to say that there were not some well-meaning compassionate people amidst these religious invaders. The point is the fact that the Indigenous First Peoples already had their own religious beliefs and those were not only not respected but were denied them. Hence, I find it no stretch of the imagination to comprehend why some would engage in a practice of “faith” in order to find some hope of relief from the ongoing destruction of their culture on all fronts.  So, “We Will Dance!” is a small effort at representing the will to defy overwhelming oppression via a view of  the Ghost Dance as defiance on the most fundamental spiritual level.

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22 Comments

  1. slpmartin said,

    December 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Oh just as I was getting my temper under control for the holiday season..thanks for the inspiration.

    • December 22, 2010 at 12:48 am

      Oh Charles, I’m sure you can channel your temper’s energies into your creative process—>>> poetry & photography. Merci.

  2. ebbtide said,

    December 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    what a beautiful and powerful image… thanks for this

  3. December 23, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Awesome post and painting 47whitebuffalo. Very inspiring.

  4. lynnwiles said,

    December 24, 2010 at 12:28 am

    May the Ghost Dance live on – beautiful energy scape as always Eva.

  5. Meg said,

    December 24, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    So much heartbreak. I once tried to read Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee but my eyes were filled with tears and I couldnt read another page. I cannot understand how people can be so heartless, so cruel, so abjectly awful to other human beings.

    I recently watched a NatGeo film on human origins, they were saying that archeologists don’t know how the Neanderthals all died out, they could not understand why the modern human could not coexist beside the new people they encountered. But I know how it was. It was like this, the endless and relentless slaughter of one group of people against another.

    What is it that separates us then? Why do we feel this as pain, see this as a tragedy, see what is happening in the world and know that it is wrong to do this. And how can we get others to see it too? Not sure if I am making sense this morning. …

    • December 26, 2010 at 3:01 am

      I think you’re asking the question: Why do people choose to engage in negative acts, such as genocide, instead of finding peaceful positive resolutions?
      Peace

  6. ichabod said,

    December 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Hey little Buffalo Woman!

    Bernie and I want to wish you and yours a wonderful and Merry Yuletide and Christmas.

    By the way I love the painting. You are gifted. 🙂

    • December 26, 2010 at 3:03 am

      Hello Ichabod and Beautiful Bernie! So nice of you to wander round. Glad you enjoy my artwork. Peace to you and yours.

  7. Dhyan said,

    December 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    buffalo,
    happy vhristmas and a great new year..
    take care and enjoy

    • December 26, 2010 at 3:05 am

      Dhyan, much joy and happiness to you in the coming year. Much appreciate your visit.

  8. December 26, 2010 at 10:25 am

    What a wonderful concept! Freedom of religion is one of the most often neglected rights.
    This is a very interesting blog you’ve got here! It’s a great idea to use your blog for political activism, too! I like the tones in this drawing… It’s a very original style!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog the other day, too!

    • January 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Hello Kai. Somehow I missed these posts. Oh my wandering mind. LOL. Thank you for visiting and finding things to enjoy in my blogcasa. Grins.

  9. artistatexit0 said,

    December 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I remember seeing some “Ghost Dance” artifacts in museum setting and heard this sad tale then while staring at empty fragments of clothing. How can you ban people from dancing and consider yourself human?

    • January 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      “Ghost Dance” artifacts–so often the very belongings of those killed at Wounded Knee where the dead were stripped of their clothing and anything of interest or value. How can anyone kill children and claim cultural superiority? What does it mean to be ‘human’?
      Hi, Al. Sorry for being remiss in a reply for so long.

  10. Kaoki Shiki said,

    January 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Wow, that picture is really stunning! Great work.

  11. napabelle said,

    January 17, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Oh, these reds are sooo beautiful, so flowing, so soft. I just love the whole thing !

    • January 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      Greetings, napabelle! Thank you. Judging from your own wonderful artistic use of oranges and reds I think we have some creative ground. But I do find reds difficult to manage. Red just seems to want to go its own way on my watercolor paper. Perhaps its innate passion just likes to explore??? LOL.


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