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  • Writer's pictureJune Meagher

Wovoka



This is a track from Tom's limited edition cd, 'Later Than Never.' Although he composed the melody and performed all the vocal and musical sounds, the lyrics are translated from an actual Ghost Dance chant from the period. Wovoka, a Paiute seer, shaman and holy man, was the prophet of the 1890 Ghost Dance movement. On new years day 1889, during a solar eclipse, he had a vision in which he travelled to Heaven and met God. His vision predicted the rising of the Paiute dead, whose spirits would fight on behalf of the living to end American westward expansion and bring peace, prosperity and unity to Native American people.


In order to fulfil this prophecy Native Americans needed to live an honest, righteous life, create cross-cultural relations with other tribes and perform a traditional round dance known as The Ghost Dance. The non-violent Ghost Dance movement spread throughout the reservations where thousands of extra U.S. army troops were then deployed. Public Ghost Dance displays came to an end on December 29th, 1890, when 153 Lakota dancers, mostly women and children, were massacred on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. After this, the movement went underground.


Although disheartened by how events unfolded, Wovoka remained a Native American leader until his death in 1932. Tom mastered the aforementioned 'Later Than Never' cd using headphones, meaning this track will sound better if listened to through earphones as opposed to speakers. Thanks for listening.

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