- A rain dance is a ceremonial dance. It is performed by people who believe it will cause rain and keep their harvest safe.
- Many different types of “rain dances” can be found in many cultures, from Ancient Egypt to certain Native American tribes. In the 20th century Balkans, a ritual known as Paparuda (Romanian) or Perperuna (Slavic) is a type of rain dance.
Julia M. Buttree (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. Details on how best to perform the Rain Dance have been passed down by oral tradition. 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.