Recently it seems like there is an excessive heat warning almost everyday. We have been getting only slight possibilities for rain and we are not the only ones in North America feeling the heat – literally and figuratively. Above is a map from the US Drought Monitor which shows the areas most affected in dark red, to the least affected in white. 

Like all Native American folktales, the stories can differ by region, tribe, and even clans due to the history and nature of oral storytelling. Many Native American tales began to be written in the 1800s. Many Indigenous tribes of North America have their own individual stories of droughts, why they happen, and how to stop them from happening or recover after the fact. 

The Hopi People of the Southwestern United States have a story that tells of a village of beetles that drink rain water, but the weather in this village was always hot and windy and it never rained. Some of the beetles were so thirsty they began dying so their chief suggested they dance. The beetles dressed up, painted themselves black, and sang and danced while their chief prayed to the clouds in the mountains and soon the clouds rolled in and the rain began. (

Check out this article from the New York Times about how climate change – including the prolonged drought in the Western US – is affecting the Indigenous populations of North America today.

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