I imagine ancient ritual was also tied to time-keeping, especially the passage of the seasons. They were ceremonies to keep people on the same page. I am suspicious of the over the top, blood smearing/"magic powers" cliche we project on ancient people. I doubt their understanding of "magic" was as literal as: cause->effect. In the Iliad they sacrifice cows to the Gods, then they go to battle, then, win or lose, they will sacrifice some more cows to the Gods for the next battle. On some level, they had to understand it wasn't: sacrifice cows=win battle. I imagine if a tribe does rain dances year in and year out, and generation in and generation out, the real point is not that the dance causes rain, but to underscore the importance of rain to survival. So when it rains you damn well better take advantage of it. Rain is so damn important to our tribe we created a dance for it!
So what if they were honoring nature as super-nature anyway? The key word is honor. So what if they were "wrong" about specifics? Where is the honor in this weirdo's performance piece? If this performance piece and ancient ritual are "rooted" in the same "urge," then they differ in their execution. One is reverent to fate/reality as a mystery, the other is a spectacle borne out of reality's literalness. Her expression is basically one of disillusionment. If these were ancient times, this chick wouldn't be the one in charge of leading the rain dance. She has no aesthetic sense or flair for ceremony whatsoever. She would be an alpha male's least favorite wife, and he has 9 of them.