We are not alone on this earth, and it is always okay to ask for help from the deeper powers that support our lives. It is also wise to ask nicely. Here is a beautiful sample of what that means: a “prayer to the U’wanami made by a rain priest” recorded by anthropologist Ruth Bunzel at Zuni Pueblo in 1928.
From wherever you abide permanently
You will make your roads come forth.
Your little wind blown clouds,
Your thin wisps of clouds,
Your great masses of clouds
Replete with living waters, you will send forth to stay with us.
Your fine rain caressing the earth,
Your heavy rain caressing the earth,
Here at Itiwana,
The abiding place of our fathers,
The ones who first had being,
With your great pile of waters
You will come together.
When you have come together
All the different kinds of corn,
Nourishing themselves with their
Tenderly will bring forth their young. Clasping their children
All will finish their roads.
Source: Ruth L. Bunzel, Introduction to Zuni ceremonialism, Forty-seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Americam Ethnology, Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution, 1929-30.
Zuni Shalako God Festival rain makers. 1904 lithograph