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ERIC Number: EJ843312
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0275-7664
The "Pageant of Paha Sapa": An Origin Myth of White Settlement in the American West
Sundstrom, Linea
Great Plains Quarterly, v28 n1 p3-26 Win 2008
As a literary work initiated and directed by a committee of women, the "Pageant of Paha Sapa" captures the zeitgeist of the post-frontier era through the eyes of the influential women of one small town. Like all origin myths, this script presented the current populace as the rightful heirs of the place and its resources, having won them through persistence, struggle, and divinely ordained destiny. The pageant's message was that "civilizing" influences had transformed the former Indian paradise and frontier hell-on-wheels into a respectable modern community. This theme of social evolution was typical of the larger pageant movement; however, unlike the eastern towns, Custer, South Dakota, could not draw on its past for moral authority. The town began as a mining camp, with the rootlessness and disorder of any western gold rush town, compounded by conflicts with Indians trying to drive the white trespassers from their reservation lands.
Center for Great Plains Studies. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1155 Q Street, Hewit Place, P.O. Box 880214, Lincoln, NE 68588-0214. Tel: 402-472-3082; Fax: 402-472-0463; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Dakota