Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Thomas R. Burkholder
Number of Pages
The tremendous influence of Wovoka, or Jack Wilson as he was commonly known, was manifested through his message of peace and renewal. The Ghost Dance Prophet of 1890 outlined a new way of life for "his people" which included every native nation, not just the Paiute. Delegations that came to hear Wovoka speak and letters he sent to the faithful spread the tenets of the religion among the indigenous people. Wovoka's rhetorical history illustrates the interplay of first persona, substantive message, and second persona as a means of transforming an audience. In addition, the parallels between the Paiute Prophet's discourse and the prophets that preceded him, both Native American and Christian demonstrate the authoritative power derived from positioning oneself as the mouthpiece of God.
Dance; Discourse; Ghost; History; Power; Prophet; Prophetic; Reconstitutive; Rhetorical; Wovoka; Jack Wilson
Rhetoric; Religious history; Biography
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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May, Alexander David, "The reconstitutive power of Wovoka's prophetic discourse: A rhetorical history of the 1890 Ghost Dance Prophet" (2004). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 1734.