The notion of a special elect, a chosen people, race or group, has a considerable antiquity, and its many manifestations – not least in its millenarian forms – have been well documented and are well known in our own times. The millennium or 'thousand year rule', is an hypothesized time when current evils will be banished, and a new order of society established. Millenarian movements have appeared at different periods of history in widely different cultures. The millennium may be conceived of as an event, a sudden – perhaps imminent – happening, or as something that develops progressively. The Hopi Snake Dance which to all intents and purposes was a ritual designed to bring rain to a barren land is almost certainly related to the Aztec ceremonies. The Dance was preceded by chanting and purification rites, and prayers were then offered to the Plumed Serpent to ensure the growth of the corn, beans, peaches and so on. e.