Customs
Folk Dance
Gestures
Musical
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Mexican Rain Dance

Mexican Rain Dance

Personal Background:

Stephanie is a junior at the University of Southern California studying biology. She has grown up with a lot of Mexican influence, and has even spent some time in Mexico with her parents and grandparents. She is living in Los Angeles at the moment and is very happy with some of the Mexican influence L.A. has.

Ritual:

In the small, rural area that Stephanie is from in Mexico, crops are a necessity. The people grow and eat all of their own corn, as well as other warmer climate vegetables. When she was around six years old and visiting her grandparents in Mexico, there was a lot of rain happening. It is important for the crops to get rain, but there was more rain than they needed. Stephanie’s family then decided they needed to do the dance that would stop the rain. They all started walking in a circle and started to sing as they walked. She says she does not remember how the song goes, but she remembers she liked it. It then turned out that the dance worked and the rain stopped. She is not sure if it was luck that it stopped, or if the dance actually worked. She has not tried it since, but she likes the idea that worked because of the dance her family did.

Even when there is a lot of rain, there are times when there is no rain. One thing Stephanie’s family has done in the past to help get the rain to come is carry a Virgin Mary statue around in the spots they want it to rain. This starts bringing the religious aspects that come with the Hispanic cultures.

These rituals mean a lot to Stephanie because without the rain her family does not have crops to eat. It makes her feel better to think these rituals work because her family spends a lot of time performing them. They give her memories of helping her family have things to eat, and she remembers having fun as kid getting to really embrace her Mexican culture.

Analysis:

This is some religious folk belief. They are doing the dance is part of a superstition, or even a magic to make the crops grow. It might be more of a psychological thing than anything else. If they think their dancing and prayers and work, then they will continue this way.

To me, this is exactly the type of thing a small area would do. They seem to have more rituals and traditions. They rely to heavily on nature, it is there only way they can feel they have control of anything.

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