Osiyo. The members of the Yellow Bird Apache Dancers based in Phoenix, Arizona, were asked to perform a “rain-dance” to keep the rain from interfering with the 2012 London Olympics (seriously). Ken Duncan, the group’s director laughed at first, then he remembered that there truly are many people who don’t understand Native Indian culture. This is also the reason why Native sites such Talking Feather and others exist.
Excerpt: Phoenix-based dancers return from London Olympics By L. Loley, Navajo Times
“The reason for the Yellow Bird Apache Dancers getting invited to perform at the London Olympics made Ken Duncan laugh.
“British Airways wanted us to do an anti-rain dance to keep the rain from interfering with the Olympic games,” said Duncan, the group’s director, about the global airline and one of the major sponsors of the Olympics.
The anti-rain dance request had my wife and I laughing,” he continued, “but then we remembered we were cultural teachers and dealt with such questions in our many treks throughout the world.
Because London had been experiencing record rain in the last few weeks, officials of the airline wanted to ensure that the rain did not stop competition.
They were referred to the 28-year-old Phoenix-based group, which is known around the world for their hoop dancing and made up of ten family members.
Needless to say, the group performed the hoop dance at the edge of the Thames River in London.
For one thing, Duncan told airline officials that, “The rain dance is not done by one person but by a community. It is the collection of suffering from drought and praying that brings the rain.”
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“The anti-rain dance request had my wife and I laughing, then we remembered we were cultural teachers and dealt with such questions in our many treks throughout the world.”
~ Ken Duncan~ Director of The Yellow Bird Apache Dancers