Ghost shirts and dresses were specially prepared garments worn by adherents of the new religion. This example from the W.H. Over Museum has the painted V-shaped neck, fringes, and feathers typical of Lakota shirts. Only the Lakotas believed them to be bulletproof. Whites viewed this as evidence of the Lakotas' warlike intentions, choosing to ignore the primarily defensive character of a bulletproof garment. Although many Indians owned weapons, they would not be needed for an offensive war since the whites would disappear through supernatural means. Songs sung at the ceremonies included one about the Messiah's, or Father's, gift of the garments to the believers
Lakota~The Massacre at Wounded Knee
~Page Two~Continued~Verily, I have given you my strength, Says the Father, says the Father. The shirt will cause you to live, Says the Father, says the Father. (Mooney, The Ghost Dance, 1073).
Ghost Shirts & Dresses
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