Rain Dance

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Dance, United States Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: September 2, 2011
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Indian Rain Dance
A rain dance is a dancing ceremony performed by some Native American Indian tribes, asking their spirits or gods to send rain. It is more common among Southwest Native Americans, who live in drier regions. Time Frame

* The rain dance normally takes place during the spring planting season and the summer months before crops are harvested. The dance asks the gods or spirits to send the appropriate amount of rain at the correct time to assure a plentiful crop. Geography

* Some Native American Indians of the Southwest include the rain dance as part of their religious ritual. Rain dances can be found in other cultures in different parts of the world, such as in ancient Egypt, 20th century Romania and in Slavic countries. History

* Stories of the origins of ceremonial dances have been passed from generation to generation orally. When the Native Americans were relocated in the 19th century, the United States government banned certain tribal ceremonial dances. In some regions tribal members would tell federal representatives that they were performing a "rain dance" rather than disclosing the fact they were actually performing one of the banned ceremonies. Features

* One thing that makes rain dances unique from some other ceremonial dances is that both men and women participate in the ceremony. Rain dances vary from tribe to tribe, each with their unique rituals and ceremony. Large headdresses are often worn, along with specific ritual dress and accessories. Dance steps usually involve moving in a zigzag pattern as opposed to other ceremonial dances that involve standing in a circle. Identification

* Native Americans have many different types of ceremonial dances, which may vary from tribe to tribe, depending on their particular religious and spiritual beliefs and needs. The rain dance is perhaps one the most stereotypical Native American ceremonial dance...
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