Rainmaking (ritual)

"Rain dance" redirects here. For The Guess Who song, see Rain Dance (song). For the Camel album, see Rain Dances.
A rain dance being performed in Harar, Eastern Ethiopia
"Rain dance", ca. 1920" (from the Potawatomi agency, presumably Prairie Band Potawatomi people)

Rainmaking is a weather modification ritual that attempts to invoke rain.

Among the best known examples of weather modification rituals are North American rain dances, historically performed by many Native American tribes, particularly in the Southwestern United States. Some of these weather modification rituals are still implemented today.[1]


North America

Julia M. Butree (the wife of Ernest Thompson Seton) describes the rain dance of the Zuni, along with other Native American dances, in her book The Rhythm of the Redman.[2][3] Feathers and turquoise, or other blue items, are worn during the ceremony to symbolize wind and rain respectively. Details on how best to perform the Rain Dance have been passed down by oral tradition.[4] In an early sort of meteorology, Native Americans in the midwestern parts of the modern United States often tracked and followed known weather patterns while offering to perform a rain dance for settlers in return for trade items. This is best documented among the Osage and Quapaw Indian tribes of Missouri and Arkansas.


Wu Shamans in ancient China performed sacrificial rain dance ceremonies in times of drought. Wu anciently served as intermediaries with nature spirits believed to control rainfall and flooding.[5] "Shamans had to carry out an exhausting dance within a ring of fire until, sweating profusely, the falling drops of perspirations produced the desired rain."[6]


This section needs attention from a fact, spell and grammar checker Rain is important for agriculturist since they want water for growing plants .When the rain doesn’t fall in a season; people use traditional means of making rain to solve the problem about the lack of rainfall. In Thailand, there is a tradition called “Cat Parade”.[7]

Traditional name “Cat Parade” is a ritual of Thailand farmers in both central and East of country. When close to the rainy season cultivation, but the rain didn’t come. Farmers will rank of Cat Parade ceremony. The ancients are believed that the cat is an animal which is afraid of the rain and scared of water. If it rains, the cat will cry. The ancients considered that if the cat cries is means the rain is going to fall. Some people believed that the cat represent drought. If the cat is wet that means they can eliminate the drought away from the city. But some people believed that the cat has a power to make rain.[8]

When you want to make “Cat Parade”, you must bring a female cat that has grey or black fur only one cat put in the basket and walking around in the villages. When the “Cat Parade” went through their house, they must splash water to the cats. After three to seven days the rain will fall.

Eastern Europe

Caloian, Dodola and Perperuna / Paparuda, among other terms, refer to a family of Slavic and Romanian rainmaking rituals, some of which survived into the 20th century.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dances.
  1. "Rain Dance". Indians.org. American Indian Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  2. Julia M. Butree (Julia M. Seton) The Rhythm of the Redman: in Song, Dance and Decoration. New York, A.S. Barnes, 1930.
  3. "Rain Dance of Zuni". Inquiry.net. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  4. "The rain dance helped native Americans get through dry summers". Indians.org. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  5. Schafer, Edward H. 1951. "Ritual Exposure in Ancient China", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 14:130-184.
  6. Unschuld, Paul U. 1985. Medicine in China: A History of Ideas. University of California Press. pp 33-34.
  7. "Cat parade praying for rain",
  8. "Cat parade", http://orawan123.blogspot.com/2013/02/blog-post.html
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