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Smohalla (circa 1815 - 1895) was a Wanapum dreamer-prophet associated with the Dreamers movement among Native American people in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia Plateau region.


  • […]
    You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest.
    You ask me to dig for stones! Shall I dig under her skin for bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again.
    You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it and be rich like white men, but how dare I cut my mother's hair?
    I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits will come to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to meet them in the bosom of our mother.
    • As quoted in The Ghost-Dance Religion and Wounded Knee (1890) by James Mooney on page 721; it has been sometimes also ascribed to w:Wovoka, which seems misappropriated as Mooney himself mentions Wovoka in the same book from page 765 on.
      "It is perhaps the most commonly cited piece of evidence documenting the Native American belief in Mother Earth. […]They rarely place the statement in the context in which Mooney presented it, that is, the history of millenarian movements spawned in part by the pressures Native American felt from the European-Americans' insatiable desire for land […] it is a direct response to 'white' pressures placed on native relationships with the land." From Mother Earth. An American Story.

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