Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
Apache Crown Dancers 1887:

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Rain Dance: Myth and Truth

Culture has the remarkable ability of influencing our perspectives of things without us even being aware of it. Some things get engrained into our minds during our childhood that we simply do not ever think to question.  Sometimes we assume things that are a part of our popular culture are true, but rarely ever look into them for ourselves. Some things are so old that we assume they have always been there. Introduce the notion that some things are also to be considered as sacred, and therefore questioning them is considered to be an act of disrespect that is often discouraged by shaming, and you have the recipe for conjuring up a belief that can go on to take on a life of its' own because when the legend gets printed in our minds it becomes fact in our lives. In this special case, I decided to dive into the surrounding beliefs of a subject commonly associated with Native culture that is most often taken out of context and misrepresented, the Native American Rain Dance.

"As I began to look into the situation, it became apparent that it stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of Native American religion." (Nez 2013)

*The Myth of the Rain Dance
first appeared in the Skeptical Briefs, Volume 23.1 Spring of 2013 edition It can also be accessed online at: