Double Rainbow

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Native American
Age: 16
Occupation: student
Residence: Franklin, Tennessee
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-28-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Main Piece:

Informant: I’m starting the story now. Ok, well there is like a lot of different things that rainbows represent. One of them is that if you see a double rainbow, never look in between the double rainbows because that is the darkest point, or one of the darkest areas. People say that is where spirits and other things enter into the world.

Interviewer: So, it’s like a portal?

Informant: Yeah, it’s like a portal.

Interviewer: Whoa. Can you elaborate on that? Do you know anything else about it?

Informant: No, that’s just about it. I don’t really know exactly how she said it. But she said the singular rainbow, like we see in the Bible, represents happiness and peaceful, hopefulness. But this double rainbow is just like, not really cursed, but a darker version of it.

Interviewer: Like a shadow world?

Informant: Yeah, exactly. Like a shadow world.

Background:

The informant is a sixteen-year-old Native American girl from the Lakota and Navajo Nations.

She was born in South Dakota, grew up in Tennessee, and frequently travels out west to visit family and friends. She is a freshman in high school and frequently spends her time reading conspiracies and odd stories on the internet (don’t we all?).

Context:

During the Covid-19 Pandemic I flew back home to Tennessee to stay with my family. The informant is my younger sister. She was in the kitchen making a salad when asked if she knew any interesting stories or legends. 

Thoughts:

Rainbows have played a significant role in narratives across time. From Noah’s Ark to Pride, they have been a beacon for hope and positive change. For others, an omen to be wary of. One common belief is that rainbows are a bridge, a portal between worlds, a path between heaven and earth. With the popularization of the multiverse, inter-dimensional travel, and long standing traditions that acknowledge the spirit world, it is interesting to imagine other worlds, especially the unseen one that lingers just out of sight.