For a Rain Dance, you need a Heyoka.

A few days ago there was a thread asking how to do a rain dance. A good friend of mine is a serious student of Native American spiritual rituals. It took me a few days to look him up and ask him. In the meantime, the thread vanished, perhaps from lack of replies.

Here’s what he said when I asked him if the Lakota do a rain dance. He said yes, but it can’t be done by just anybody. It’s only done by a Heyoka. A Heyoka, he said, is a specialized kind of medicine man. For reasons that would have taken all afternoon to explain to me, the rituals of a Heyoka are contrarian. To pray for rain, he does a fair weather dance. As far as telling you how to do a rain dance, it wouldn’t help you to know the steps any more than doing the foxtrot. My friend is qualified to do several other Lakota rituals, but he freely admits he doesn’t have the enlightenment necessary to do a rain dance. He is not a Heyoka, and it would be an act of disrespect for him to attempt a Heyoka ceremony.

This is in IMHO because the info is not written down anywhere, and I can’t give you a cite. It is also a matter of religious faith, not of concrete facts. You may have your own opinions about Lakota spiritual matters, and indeed you might know a whole lot more than I do about them. I am, after all, a white guy.

Okay, here’s my one polite bump. Surely I’m not the only Doper who has an interest in this stuff.

–Nott