1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Smohalla
|←Smithsonian Institution|| 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 25
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SMOHALLA, or Shmoquala (i.e. “preacher”), chief of the Wanapum tribe of North American Indians and founder of the religious sect called Dreamers, was born about 1820. On one occasion after a tribal fray he was left for dead, but recovered and journeyed through California, Mexico, Arizona and Nevada to his old home on the upper Columbia, Washington, where he announced that he had been in the spirit world and had returned with a new revelation. This consisted in a return to primitive Indian customs, and a priesthood and ritual based on the Roman Catholic type. Besides Sunday services the Dreamers hold a service for the commemoration of the dead in early spring, and thanksgivings for salmon and for berries in April and in October respectively. Smohalla had frequent trances and his influence extended over most of the tribes of eastern Washington, and Oregon and western Idaho. The sect gave some trouble in 1870 by refusing to come under reservation restrictions. A church was established at Priest's Rapids on the upper Columbia, and one at Union Gap on the Yakima reservation.
See James Mooney, “The Ghost-dance religion,” in 14th Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1896).