The Native American Rain Dance

The Native American Rain Dance originated in the Southwestern United States in the Cherokee Tribe. It was dry in that region in late August. It was a popular in the Southwest where it didn't rain very often. They wanted it to rain because they needed it for the crops and to survive life.

Men and Women perform the dance. The fact that women were included in this ritual was very significant. Men performed most of the dances.

Every piece of clothing was special, including the colors. The most popular color was turquoise. This color represented rain. The feathers they wear represent wind. The outfits consisted of special patterns and goat hair in the headdresses. Usually the outfits were worn every year, so they stored it up when they weren't using then. Many of the outfits are stored in museums today. Although all of them aren't, some of them are kept in the family as heirlooms and are passed down from generation to generation.

The story of how the term “Rain Dance” came to be, during the days of the Native American relocation, the government banned certain religious ceremonies (like the Rain Dance and Ghost Dance). The tribes in suppressed areas were forbidden to perform the Sun Dance. The Windigokan, a nominally cannibalistic sect, nicknamed "the backward people," became famous for telling federal representatives that the dance being performed was not the Sun Dance, but the Native American Rain Dance, thus preventing any prosecution or federal intervention.