Among the most well known examples of rainmaking rituals are North American rain dances, historically performed by many Native American tribes, particularly in the Southwestern United States. Some of these traditions have survived to the present day.
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. Feathers and turquoise, or other blue items, are worn during the ceremony to symbolize wind and rain respectively. Many oral traditions of the Rain Dance have been passed down. 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 Osage and Quapaw Indian tribes of Missouri and Arkansas.
- "Rain Dance". Indians.org. American Indian Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- Julia M. Butree (Julia M. Seton) The Rhythm of the Redman: in Song, Dance and Decoration. New York, A.S. Barnes, 1930
- Rain Dance of Zuni
- The rain dance helped native Americans get through dry summers.