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Martha Visser't Hooft (1906-1994), Wounded Knee, 1974; ink on paper, 23 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches (Frame: 30 1/4 x 24 1/4 inches); Gift of the Artist, 1991

Martha Visser't Hooft (1906-1994), Wounded Knee, 1974; ink on paper, 23 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches (Frame: 30 1/4 x 24 1/4 inches); Gift of the Artist, 1991

On December 29, 1890, the Seventh Cavalry of the United States Army massacred nearly 300 Lakota men, women and children at Wounded Knee Creek (Cankpe Opi Wakpala) in South Dakota. American soldiers had killed Chief Sitting Bull at Standing Rock on December 15th when he resisted arrest. The ailing Chief Big Foot tried to lead Sitting Bull’s followers, the Hunkpapa Sioux (Lakota), as well as members of his tribe, the Miniconjou Sioux (Lakota) toward the south to reach protected ground at the Pine Ridge Reservation. They had performed a Ghost Dance, which a Paiute shaman named Wovoka prophesied would unite the dead with the living, restore the prairie, and cause a tidal wave of soil to cover the earth and bury the whites. They wore “Ghost Shirts” that they naively believed would protect them from bullets. U.S. soldiers led a violent attack that is considered “the last of the Indian wars in America.”--Nancy Weekly