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Rainmaking is a
weather modification Weather modification (also known as weather control) is the act of intentionally manipulating or altering the weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapo ...
ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gesture A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication Nonverbal communication (NVC) is the transmission of messages or signals through a nonverbal platform such as eye contact, facial exp ...

ritual
that attempts to invoke
rain Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Rain water flux from a canopy. Among the forces that govern drop formation: cohesion, Van der Waals force">Cohesion_(chemistry).html" ;"title="surface tension, Cohesion (chemistry)">cohesion, ...

rain
. Among the best known examples of weather modification rituals are North American rain dances, historically performed by many
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
tribes, particularly in the
Southwestern United States The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural list of regions of the United States, region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacen ...
. Some of these weather modification rituals are still implemented today.


Examples


North America

Julia M. Buttree (the wife of
Ernest Thompson Seton Ernest Thompson Seton (born Ernest Evan Thompson August 14, 1860 – October 23, 1946) was an author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians Woodcraft League of America, originally called the Woodcraft Indians and League of Woodcr ...

Ernest Thompson Seton
) describes the rain dance of the
Zuni Zuni may refer to: Peoples and languages * Zuni people The Zuni ( zun, A:shiwi; formerly spelled ''Zuñi'') are Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of ...
, along with other Native American dances, in her book ''The Rhythm of the Redman''. Feathers and
turquoise Turquoise is an opaque Opacity or opaque may refer to: * Impediments to (especially, visible) light: ** Opacities, absorption coefficients ** Opacity (optics), property or degree of blocking the transmission of light * Metaphors derived from li ...

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. In an early sort of
meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw modest progress in the f ...
, 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 The Osage Nation The Osage Nation ( ) ( Osage: 𐓁𐓣 𐓂𐓤𐓘𐓯𐓤𐓘͘ ('), "People of the Middle Waters") is a Midwestern The midwestern United States, often referred to simply as the Midwest, is one of four census regions of ...
and
Quapaw The Quapaw (or Arkansas and Ugahxpa) people are a tribe of Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native ...
Indian tribes of Missouri and Arkansas. In April 2011, Texas governor
Rick Perry James Richard Perry (born March 4, 1950) is an American politician who served as the 14th United States secretary of energy The United States secretary of energy is the head of the United States Department of Energy, a member of the Cabinet ...

Rick Perry
called the
Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas The Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas was a designated period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, during which Texas governor Rick Perry James Richard Perry (born March 4, 1950) is an American politician who se ...
, asking that Texans
pray Prayer is an invocation An invocation (from the Latin verb ''invocare'' "to call on, invoke, to give") may take the form of: * Supplication, prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of w ...

pray
for "the healing of our land exas and for an end to the drought.


Africa

Rain is a central concern of African societies which depend on it for their sustenance and that of their animals. The power to make rain is usually attributed to African kings. In a number of African societies, kings who failed to produce the expected rain ran the risk of being blamed as scapegoats and killed by their people. A famous rain making monarch is the
Rain Queen Queen Modjadji, or the Rain Queen, is the hereditary Queen regnant, queen of lobedu people, Balobedu, a people of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The succession to the position of Rain Queen is matrilineal succession, matrilineal, so her d ...
of
Balobedu The Lobedu or Balobedu ''(''also known as the BaLozwi or Bathobolo'')'' are a southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular t ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
. Tribal rain dances are done to ensure rain comes. Notable peoples known to have done rain dances are tribes on the
Sahara Desert The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the . With an area of , it is the largest hot in the world and the third largest desert overall, smaller only than the deserts of and the northern . ...

Sahara Desert
and
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
.


North Africa


China

Wu Shamans in ancient China performed sacrificial rain dance ceremonies in times of drought. Wu anciently served as intermediaries with
nature spirits Animism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...
believed to control rainfall and flooding. "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."


Europe

Roman religion had a ceremony called the (Latin: "calling the waters") which sought to produce rain in times of drought. During the ceremony, the had the ("Water-flowing stone". Festus distinguishes it from another , "stone of the
Manes In ancient Roman religion Religion in ancient Rome includes the ethnic religion of Ancient Rome that the ancient Romans, Romans used to define themselves as a people, as well as the religious practices of peoples brought under Roman rule, i ...
") brought from its usual resting place, the Temple of Mars in Clivo near the
Porta Capena Porta Capena was a gate in the Servian Wall The Servian Wall ( la, Murus Servii Tullii; it, Mura Serviane) was an ancient Roman defensive barrier constructed around the city of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date ...
, into the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

Senate
. Offerings were made to
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the List of Solar System objects by size, largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but ...
petitioning for rain, and water was ceremonially poured over the stone.Cyril Bailey,
The Religion of Ancient Rome
', ch. 2 (Archibald, Constable & Co., London, 1907)
''
Caloian Caloian is a rain ritual in Romania, similar in some ways to ''Dodola''. It is found mostly in Wallachia (the southern part of Romania). The origin of this ritual, as is the case with those of many other local popular beliefs and practices, prece ...
'', ''
Dodola Dodola (also spelled ''Doda'', ''Dudulya'' and ''Didilya''), also known under the names for butterfly: Paparuda, Peperuda, Perperuna or Preperuša, is a pagan tradition found in the Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Pe ...
'' and ''
Perperuna Dodola (also spelled ''Doda'', ''Dudulya'' and ''Didilya''), also known under the names for butterfly: Paparuda, Peperuda, Perperuna or Preperuša, is a pagan tradition found in the Balkans. The central character of the ceremony is usually an ...
'' / ''
Paparuda Dodola (also spelled ''Doda'', ''Dudulya'' and ''Didilya''), also known under the names for butterfly: Paparuda, Peperuda, Perperuna or Preperuša, is a pagan tradition found in the Balkans. The central character of the ceremony is usually an ...
'', among other terms, refer to a family of
Slavic
Slavic
and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
n rainmaking rituals, some of which survived into the 20th century.


See also

*
Green Corn Dance The Green Corn Ceremony (Busk) is an annual ceremony practiced among various Native Americans in the United States, Native American peoples associated with the beginning of the yearly corn harvest. Busk is a term given to the ceremony by white tra ...
* Human behavior § Weather and climate


References


External links


Dragon Festival for rainmaking in Nio, Japan
NHK also called the Japan Broadcasting Corporation and shortened from ''Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai'', is a Japanese government-owned public broadcaster Public broadcasting involves radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunicatio ...

NHK
(video)
The Long Strange Journey of Earth's Traveling Microbes
(2011).
Fred Pearce Fred Pearce (born 30 December 1951) is an English author and journalist based in London. He is a science writer, reporting on the environment, popular science Popular science (also called pop-science or popsci) is an interpretation of scienc ...
.
Yale Environment 360 Yale Environment 360 (abbreviated as E360) is an American online magazine focused on environmental journalism. It includes original reporting, analysis, interviews, and multimedia content. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of F ...
. {{Superstitions Native American dances
Native American religion Religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ethics in ...
Ritual dances