Rain Dance, an American Indian ritual dance. Tribes in the arid Southwest held traditional dances to get rain by winning the favor of their gods. The most famous was the Snake Dance of the Hopi Indians in Arizona, performed every two years, late in August, by the Snake fraternity. They built a kisi, a small shelter of cottonwood boughs, where they put rattlesnakes. In it crouched a man to hand out snakes. Painted and naked except for kilts, the rest chanted, swayed, and sounded shell rattles. In turn, each knelt at the kisi, received a snake, grasped its middle in his mouth, and danced.
America's history begins with the Native Americans and the English settlers they encountered. Read our list of Native American leaders and heroes, including Sequoyah, Geronimo, and Crazy Horse.
It's a hotly debated topic: Who found America first? One theory proposes that it was the Clovis. So will we be replacing Columbus Day with "Clovis Day" on our calendars?