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How Native Americans Make Rain Happen

The Hopi Indians (aka Pueblos)

According to the Hopi Indians (formerly called Moki Indians), a native American tribe of northwestern Arizona US, are still attempting to create rain by sacrificing golden eagles and dancing with live rattlesnakes in their teeth.

I still believe these particular people of Arizona perform the rain dance to make rain happen as of today. They are known to wear special dresses, or the types with feathers on including hats and they use ornaments attached to their clothes to perform. The unique ornaments are believed to have some kind of magical power and the manner in which they dance in an erratic fashion for rainfall to appear from the sky.

The Hopi Indians have been performing this ceremonial dance for so many years. These native dancers usually do it during the summer when water from the sky is urgently needed for the crops and in areas where there's droughts. The droughts is the main problem for the Native Americans because without rain it's difficult to grow crops for their survival. It's also a tradition of theirs to keep this practice of rain dancing in existence for their benefit and for the interest for many people around the world.

However, while these native Americans are still performing their rain dances in the desert in the traditional way to please their gods and obtain rain for their crops, others have come up with a more scientific approach.

The Hopi Dance

  • Some sources suggest that the name 'Hopi' means a peaceful person.
  • The Hopis mostly live in the uplands surrounded by grasslands, this place is thought to be called the Black Mesa (or Big Mountain). That is where they first inhabited in ancient times.
  • Experts believe the rain dance was originally a water ceremony in relation to snakes. The dance now is a rain ceremony because the Hopis rely on snakes to carry their prayers for rain to the spirits of the underworld.
  • In the rain dance ceremony, the Hopi Indians use over 50 long bull-snakes and rattlesnakes to perform. This is also regarded as the snake dance depending on the season and occasion.
  • The Hopi Indian Rain dance is also known as the Kachina, a religious dance.
  • The Hopi Indians live in houses made of clay and stone.
  • As farming and agriculture is part of their tradition, rain dancing is very important to that tradition too especially in an area where it is too hot and dry.
  • As well as the Hopi and Pueblos, there are also other tribes in the region called the Mojave and Navajo. They also perform rain dances in times of severe droughts.

The Scientists

In the mid 20th century, two scientists Vincent Schaefer and Irving Longmuir began their work at the General Electric Research Laboratories in Schenectady in New York US. They both proved that rain clouds could be artificially acquired to produce showers from the sky. This is generally known as cloud seeding. Furthermore, clouds consists of billions of particles of water very small to fall as raindrops. It's only when the droplets expand to a quarter of a millimeter or more will they start to fall as a fine drizzle. The tiniest droplets evaporate instantly before falling on the ground.

The particular reason for this is that the water in the clouds is very pure, and contains no dust or other chemicals which can form the center of an ice crystal. If tiny particles are provided, the droplets will freeze, then grow rapidly until they are big enough to fall, and then melt as the temperature increases thus reaching the ground as rainwater.

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Both the scientists have proved that small particles, normally of silver iodide, also added to supercooled clouds could form faster growing ice crystals. These particles have been released in the air from airplanes, carried by rockets or even released at ground level for air currents to carry them up in the skies. In Russia, 70 millimeter artillery guns have been used to fire silver iodide particles into clouds, and then exploding at the precise height to scatter the chemicals around. As long as the clouds are supercooled the technique of rainmaking is a better chance and may increase the rainfall by another 20 percent.


Arun Dahiya on April 03, 2019:

Wow, you know I recently read about it in the book - a house made of dawn. Really loved reading your post. Didn't know this custom still existed.

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