Rain Dance

Native American tribes have performed a rain dance, a ceremonial dance that have performed for centuries. Rain dances are performed by both male and female members of the tribe when droughts occur or during the late summer months when rain is needed for crops. To this day, many tribes around the United States have kept this tradition alive and continue to perform rain dances. Tribes in the arid Southwest held traditional dances to get rain by winning the favor of their gods. The most famous was the Snake Dance of the Hopi Indians in Arizona, performed every two years, late in August, by the Snake fraternity. They built a small shelter of cottonwood boughs called kisi, where they put rattlesnakes. A man is crouched inside the kisi and hands out snakes. Naked and painted except for kilts, the rest of the tribesmen chanted, swayed, and sounded shell rattles.