30 Sec's on....
Do you know a Rain Dance is an actual thing?
And as much as you and I would have heard stories about it, it really has been a very big part of indigenous culture. Mostly to Native American Indians, however, lots of cultures have, and still do, use it. But since I have a particular fondness for Native American Indians, I want to focus on them.
The Rain Dance was done smack bang in the driest month of the year, usually mid to late August, and unusually, this was one ritual where both men and women danced.
There were, and still are (as some reservations still practice this ritual), different clothes, colours and hairstyles for the men and women.
For women it was all black, with a brightly coloured shawl, then a black shawl, then a white one over that. And they wore their hair in a special tribal wrap, at the side of their head.
Men on the other hand, had their bodies painted and wore special beads. A fox skin hung behind them, and they wore a silver bracelet with a white apron type cloth. Their hair was left long and loose and they wore turquoise moccasins.
Men's masks also had a turquoise stripe stretching from ear to ear across the face, while the bottom had a band of blue, yellow, and red rectangles. A fringe of horsehair hung from the bottom which covered the throat, and three white feathers hung from the top of the mask.
The turquoise symbolized rain and the feathers, wind.
The women’s mask were similar, but instead of a turquoise stripe, theirs was white and they did not have the rectangles on the bottom or the horsehair. The women’s masks also had goat hair around the top, and an Eagles feather hung over their face.
Now the dance itself is kind of cool.
It was a choreographed, complex and intricate movement of dance, designed to appeal to, and peak the interest of, the Native American Gods.
The Rain Dance was obviously for calling the rain to come, but in fact, and most probably just as important, it was for banishing Evil Spirits.
In fact, Cherokee legend says, The rain we receive each year is filled with the Spirits of our Tribe's past Chiefs, and that as the raindrops fall, it is these good Spirits that are battling Evil in the Transitional Spiritual Plane.
I bloody love that.
Wishing you much awesomeness.
T and Spirit