The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Iroquois Rain Dance
Iroquois Rain Dance

Iroquois Rain Dance 1984

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

Iroquois Rain Dance 1984

4 mins United Kingdom

A businessman from Hampshire John Morley is the rainmaker here, a blood brother to a Native American of the Iroquois tribe. He is in full costume performing a traditional rain dance at Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor in Devon with a contract to provide rain within ten days of signing the Treaty. Traditional dances of the Earth Songs are performed in Native American social gatherings and a rain dance is a simple ritual performed to evoke rain.

To the uninitiated the rain dance has become a cliché for its depiction in American Westerns of the twentieth century but in fact many other more complex social dances exist. Depending on the culture the type of dance and the specifics of the ritual differ. The Iroquois confederacy has Six Nations including Mohawk, Onondage, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora peoples. Their traditional dress for a rain dance includes feathers and turquoise to signify the wind and rain. Gitche Gumee means Big Water, the Native American name for Lake Superior and appears in Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha.

The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.

Genres

Current affairs News

Tags

Rain 1980s Rituals Meteorology

Collection

Other Grooves

Released

1984

Country

United Kingdom

Language

English

Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

Explore
The map

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later