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7.3 Great Plains Tribes

In 1904 the government outlawed the Sun Dance among the Plains Indians in violation of the 1st amendment of the US Constitution.

The Sun Dance had been outlawed in 1904 by the US government. At that time it was practised by at least 26 tribes and generally took place in June/July. It was the only religious ritual in which the entire political unit also acted as a ceremonial unit. It was organised by the shamans or medicine men and all members of the tribes were involved. The ceremony lasted a week and the dance itself, four days. It went on in hiding after it was outlawed but it was formally revived in its original form among the Sioux in 1950.