1890 Wounded knee Weekend Memorial

Wounded Knee, hamlet and creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, U.S. It was the site of two conflicts between Native Americans and representatives of the U.S. government.


Ghost Dance of the Sioux, print from a wood engraving, 1891.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (Digital file no. cph 3a51166)
On December 29, 1890, more than 200 Sioux men, women, and children were massacred by U.S. troops in what has been called the Battle of Wounded Knee, an episode that concluded the conquest of the North American Indian. Reaching out for some hope of salvation from hard conditions, such as semistarvation caused by reduction in the size of their reservation in the late 1880s, the Teton Sioux responded affirmatively to Wovoka, a Paiute prophet who promised the disappearance of the white man and a return of native lands and buffalo if certain rites and dances were performed. These rites, known as the Ghost Dance, caused alarm among whites and led to federal military intervention. The army subdued the Ghost Dance movement, but Chief Sitting Bull was killed by reservation police while being arrested (December 14, 1890),

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