Weather Control Traditions of the Cherokee


  • James A Heimbach, Jr. Atmospheric Sciences University of North Carolina Asheville, NC


Raven Hail, a Cherokee elder who has lectured and written on Native American culture, was interviewed during the spring and summer 2000. The focus of the discussions was on the perceptions and methods of two cultures of regarding weather control. The knowledge of another culture’s perceptions and concerns about weather, and its control is intriguing. The Cherokee society is matriarchal whereas the Judeo-Christian is patriarchal, leading to significant differences in attitudes regarding weather. For example, members a matriarchal society believe themselves to be of caretakers of the Earth, and those of a patriarchal society to be dominant over the Earth and its inhabitants. Three Cherokee weather "control" incantations are discussed; the Sun Dance, Storm Deflection and the Rain Dance. Each has its conduct entwined with the structure of society, spirits and the understanding of the cosmos.




Technical Notes and Correspondence