Cherokee Painted Hide and Wood Drum,c. 1880, rawhide stretched overtwo sides of a wood hoop, painted orange with a rain drop and cross at center, resembling direction of the wind, a blue Cherokee man wearing a roach. The sides feature falling water and wind using blue and red. Expected wear from use, lg. 15 in. Ht. 10 in.
The Cherokee tribe used rain dances to both create rain and to remove evil spirits from the earth. The legend of the tribe says that the rain created has the spirits of the former leaders of the tribe. During the rain, these spirits fight the evil spirits in a place between our reality and the spirit world. These rain dances are also seen as acts of worship.
Feathers and turquoise are worn during the dance. They symbolize wind and rain.