Rain dance

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A rain dance being performed in Harar East Ethiopia.

A rain dance is a ceremonial dance. It is performed by people who believe it will cause rain and keep their harvest safe.

Many different types of "rain dances" can be found in many cultures, from Ancient Egypt to certain Native American tribes. In the 20th century Balkans, a ritual known as Paparuda (Romanian) or Perperuna (Slavic) is a type of rain dance.

The Cherokee tribe, an ethnic Native American tribe from the Southeastern United States used rain dances to both create rain and to remove evil spirits from the earth.[1] The legend of the tribe says that the rain created has the spirits of the former leaders of the tribe. During the rain, these spirits fight the evil spirits in a place between our reality and the spirit world.[source?] These raindances are also seen as acts of worship.

Julia M. Butree in her book,[2] describes the "Rain Dance of Zuni"[3] and other Native American dances

Feathers and turquoise are worn during the dance. They symbolize wind and rain. Many traditions of the Rain Dance are passed down through history by people telling their children about them in stories.[4]

Settler times[change | change source]

In an early type of meteorology, Native Americans in the midwestern parts of modern United States often tracked and followed known weather patterns. They would do a raindance for settlers in return for trade items. This is best known to happen among Osage and Quapaw Indian tribes of Missouri and Arkansas.

References[change | change source]

  1. "La Ronde: The Dance of Life". Brighton and Hove Museums. http://www.virtualmuseum.info/collections/themes/la_ronde/html/. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
  2. Julia M. Butree (Julia M. Seton) The Rhythm of the Redman : in Song, Dance and Decoration. New York, A. S. Barnes, 1930
  3. "Rain Dance of Zuni". http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/native/dance/rain_zuni.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
  4. "Rain Dance". Indians.org. http://www.indians.org/articles/rain-dance.html. Retrieved 2008-07-21.