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  A Novel By  

J. Carlton Ross     







"Ghost Shirts  is a adventurous romp set in a metaphorical time revolving within the resurgence of the Indian belief in The Rite Of Purification. This Rite was first performed as the "Prophets Dance", popularly known as the "Ghost Dance", of the late 1800’s when American Indians were sequestered onto reservations and Christianized. The story’s theme is in tune with the current struggle in the Indian heart between a spiritual past and material future. "Ghost Shirts ‘2000" reflects this struggle through the experience of two young braves; both aspiring to become men as they follow their heart's path..

         "Brothers of the Wind; the first child was a difficult birth, born in that moment of darkness before the dawn; Hanhepi wi, light of wisdom, in darkness. Long moments later, the second, born in the clear light of first dawn, Anpetu wi, source of light, sacred light from Grandfather Sun. One driven by the west wind, right handed under the symbol of the star; one driven by the east wind, left handed; influenced by the heart. Ancestral names they would keep until their earning day upon vision quest (hambeday) or in battle. One yearned for visions, one for adventure."      Chapter Five

        The brothers journey begins with "hambeday", the first step on the path of manhood, each brave heart manifesting its destiny in character. What follows is a test of strength-of-character as the unraveling of each brother’s path accordingly, widens into a differing reality.

        "And so, as the shimmering rays of Grandmother Moon simmer above the quiet of the Reservation, the question remains. Is it a question of adaptation, as the quickly maturing Storm’n Eyes has so readily accepted, and so subtly, alluded to in his proud manner?"  Chapter thirty-one

         In the dark, Anpetu wi’s eyes seek out the one ray of yellow moonlight casting its shimmering circle on the flat concrete and suddenly, he feels a stirring within, like a dark cloud letting in the light after swiftly passing. "Be as the light…..Follow your heart’s path, Anpetu wi, and all will end well. Be true to yourself…..I am here as guide….always."
                                    Chapter Thirty-one

        The journey ends when the brothers life-paths separate irrevocably, one seeking reward on a material plane, the other, spiritual. "Ghost Shirts '2000' strives, not so much to set a moral tone as to be spiritually challenging while enlightening. It is also a dissection of cultures and how culture affects a heart, as well as, a people.
         "The loss of Indian Culture is a loss to all Mankind. The diversity of human culture is what is becoming extinct and, with it, the lessons to be learned by its very diversity."

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