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Waiting for Wovoka (Hardback)

Envoys of Good Cheer and Liberty

Historical Fiction

Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Pages: 120
ISBN: 9780819500427
Published: 7th March 2023
Casemate UK Academic



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Native puppeteers from the White Earth Reservation travel to the 1962 World's Fair.


In the summer of 1962, a group of young Native American puppeteers travel in a converted school bus from the White Earth Reservation to the Century 21 Exposition, World's Fair in Seattle, Washington. The five Natives, three young men and two young women, have endured abandonment, abuse, poverty, and find solace, humor, and courage with a mute puppeteer—a Native woman in her seventies who writes original dream songs, and creates hand puppets and ironic parleys that mock the ghosts of authority. Dummy Trout, the mute puppeteer, also figured in Native Tributes and Satie on the Seine. The troupe attends a performance of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and they create a puppet parley for Wovoka, the inspiration of the Native American Ghost Dance Religion.

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