How to do the indian rain dance

How to Do a Rain Dance ~ Native American Rain Dance


Native American Rain Dance

When reading about the history of our country and in particular, the Native Americans many people have heard of a ceremonial tradition that is known as the Native American rain dance. The Native American rain dance was the most common among the Native American tribes in the southwest of America, since during the summers there they would have long droughts.

The droughts could bring serious problems for the natives since having some rain was essential for their survival and their food crops. The rain dance would usually take place in the driest month of the year, so usually this ritual was performed in mid to late August ever year. The Native American rain dance was performed by both the men and women of the tribe, unlike other tribal rituals where only men were allowed.

The Native Americans wore special costumes when performing the Native American rain dance ceremony, and these costumes were used just for this specific ceremony every year. The men would have long hair waving in the ceremony and the women wore their hair in a special tribal wrap at the sides of their heads. The mask that the Indian men wear is a mask with a turquoise strip that stretches from ear to ear across the face of the mask. Then the bottom is a band of blue, yellow, and red rectangles. A fringe of horsehair hangs from the bottom which covers the throat and three white feathers hang from the top of the male mask. The women’s mask is somewhat similar but instead of a turquoise stripe theirs is white and they do not have the rectangles on the bottom or the horsehair. The women’s masks also have goat hair around the top and an Eagles feather hangs over their face. The men also have their bodies painted up by tribal standards and wear special beads and they wore a fox skin hung behind them and also a silver bracelet and white apron type cloth. They also wore turquoise moccasins. The women wore a black dress and no parts of their bodies were shown except their bare feet. Then they wore a bright colored shawl with one black and one white shawl over that. Then they all lined up and performed the Native American rain dance in hopes of bringing the rain that they desperately need. Many reservations in the southwest still perform this ritual to this day.

Basic Guidelines on How To Rain Dance

(everyone/tribe is unique, be creative, remembering to honor the earth.  nothing can be taken less something given.)

1. Never do a rain dance on a hill.
2. Make sure you have a lot of room so you don’t run into anything.
3. Spin around in clockwise circles.
4. Make up your own rain chant.  It should be rhythmical
and easy to say fast.
5. Yell your rain chant while spinning around in circles.
6. If you are trying to get rid of rain, spin in counterclockwise circles and say your chant backward



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This entry was posted on July 18, 2012 by carinaragno. It was filed under culture, life, music, nature, photography and was tagged with culture, dance, geo, how to do your own rain dance, indians, life, music, native american, nature, photos, rain dance.

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    How to do a Native American rain dance (not that we need one)

    Let’s set the scene: it’s mid-to-late August, it’s scorching, the crops yearn for water and the people depend on the crops in order to survive the winter. When in drought, rain dance!

    A Native American performing a rain dance at an exhibition

    Native American tribes perform a ceremonial dance that has been passed orally from generation to generation. They hold this traditional dance to get rain by winning the favour of their gods. To this day, many tribes around the United States have kept this tradition alive and continue to perform rain dances.

    Young Native American men doing a rain dance

    Unlike most other rituals, rain dances are performed by both the males and females of the tribe (normally, it’s only the males that get to take part). Native Americans wear spectacular costumes when performing the rain dance ceremony, and these costumes are used specifically for this special ceremony every year. The only special outfit I have that I wear once a year is my Star Trek uniform for Halloween.

    A young Native American woman doing a rain dance

    So what are these costumes like? Well, the men generally have long, wavy hair and wear a mask decorated with vibrant colours such as turquoise, blue, yellow and red. A fringe of horse hair hangs from the bottom of the mask, which covers the throat, and three white feathers hang from the top of the mask. As well as wearing a mask, the men also have their bodies painted, wear special beads and have a foxskin hanging behind them.

    Native American moccasins

    The women usually wear their hair in a special tribal wrap at the sides of their heads. The women also have masks similar to the men, but instead of a turquoise, theirs is white and they don’t have horse hair hanging from the bottom. The women’s masks instead have goat hair around the top and an eagle’s feather, which hangs over their face.

    The women wear a black dress and no parts of their bodies are shown except their bare feet. Then they wear a brightly-coloured shawl with one black and one white shawl over that. As beautiful as these costumes sound, I don’t think they’d let me wear them in a nightclub!

    After they’re all dressed, they all line up and perform the rain dance in the hope of bringing the rain that they desperately needed. (Whereas us Brits are a miserable bunch when it rains, and would rather do a dance to stop it!). The steps of the rain dance itself are quite complex – the men and women stand in separate lines and make zigzagging patterns, but as previously mentioned, the steps are passed down through generations orally (so there’s no ‘Rain Dancing for Dummies’).

    During the 1920s and 30s, certain Native America tribal ceremonial dances were banned by the United States government because they were considered to be “backwards” and dangerous by those of the modern world. Tribal members in some regions would tell representatives of the federal government that they were performing a “rain dance” rather than revealing the fact they were actually performing one of the banned ceremonies.


    If you’re travelling to America, or anywhere else, remember your travel insurance. You’ll be covered for unexpected cancellations, medical expenses, lost luggage, and more. You can even add cover for natural disasters, in case you attempt a rain dance and end up causing a cyclone or tsunami!

    90,000 Pueblo Indian rain dance. Mass and Power

    Pueblo Indian Rain Dance

    There are multiplication dances whose task is to make it rain. The dancers, so to speak, stomp the rain out of the ground. The stamping of feet is like falling raindrops. If it starts to rain during the dance, the dance stops. The rain dance eventually turns into rain. A group of about 40 people, making rhythmic movements, turns into rain.

    Rain is the most important mass symbol among the Pueblo peoples. He played an important role even among their ancestors, who happened to live in other places. But since they settled in the dry highlands, the importance of rain has increased so much that it now forms the deep basis of their beliefs. The corn necessary for life and the rain without which the corn will not grow is what stands at the center of all their ceremonies. A variety of magical means used to bring rain are concentrated and intensified during the rain dance.

    It is important that this dance is not characterized by madness, which does not correspond to the nature of the rain itself. In the cloud in which it approaches, the rain represents unity. The cloud is high and far away, it is white and soft and, approaching, awakens joyful feelings in a person. But, being resolved by rain, it breaks up: in separate drops the rain reaches people and the soil, where it disappears. The dance, which is supposed to attract the rain by itself becoming it, represents the flight and disintegration of the mass rather than its formation. The dancers want the rain to come, but it should not stay up there, but fall on the ground. The cloud is a friendly mass, and how friendly it is can be seen from the fact that it equates to ancestors. The dead return in a cloud of rain and bring prosperity and contentment. If in the summer evening rain clouds appear in the sky, the children are told: “Look, grandfather is coming.” This means not a deceased family member, but an ancestor in general.

    Priests who are in ritual seclusion for eight consecutive days, withdrawing into themselves, sit motionless in front of the altars and call for rain:

    "Wherever your permanent home is,

    From there you will start your journey,

    Your wind-blown clouds,

    Your Thin Cloud Stripes

    Fill with living water.

    You will send us to stay with us,

    Your beautiful rain caressing the earth

    Here in Itevan,

    Villages of our fathers

    And mothers,

    Those who were alive before us.

    You will all come to us

    With your incalculable mass of water."

    A person needs an incalculable mass of water, but this mass, collected in clouds, breaks up into drops. In the rain dance, the emphasis is on decay. We are talking about a good mass - not about a dangerous beast that needs to be killed, not about a hated enemy that has to be fought. She is identified with the mass of ancestors, who among the Pueblos are peaceful and benevolent.

    The precious mass, dropping on the ground in drops, passes into another mass, necessary for life - into maize. As with any harvest, it is supposed to be harvested in piles. This is just the opposite process: the rain cloud breaks up into drops, the harvest, on the contrary, is collected in piles, so to speak, grain to grain or cob to cob.

    This food makes men strong and women fertile. The word "children" often appears in spells. The priest speaks of all living members of the family as children, but also of boys and girls as those "whose life path is yet to come." We would say they are the future of the tribe. He expresses this in a more precise way - their life path is still ahead.

    So the most important masses in pueblo life are ancestors and children, rain and corn, or, to follow the causal order, so to speak, ancestors, rain, corn, children.

    Of the four types of packs, hunting and military packs are completely alien to them. They retained only residual elements of driven hunting for rabbits. There is also a community of warriors, but its function is more of a police one, and there is practically no need for a police force. The mourning pack plays a surprisingly small role in them. Death, if possible, is not turned into an event, and the dead, as an individual, are tried to be forgotten as soon as possible. At the end of four days after death, the senior priest inspires the saddened relatives that they no longer need to think about the dead: “He has been dead for four years!” Death is relegated to the past, the pain becomes easier to bear. Pueblos don't know mourning packs - they isolate pain.

    The only active and diversely manifested form of the flock remains with them the flock of multiplication. All social life rests on it. It can be said that they live only for multiplication, and this multiplication is oriented exclusively positively. The duplicity of Janus, characteristic of so many peoples: their own multiplication, on the one hand, the extermination of enemies, on the other, is unknown to them. Rain and maize made them peaceful people, their life is spent in the circle of their own children and ancestors.

    This text is an introductory fragment.

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