"The Man to Send Rainclouds" is set on an Indian reservation in the American Southwest. The story was inspired by an incident that occurred near Laguna, New Mexico. It involves the death and burial of a Laguna Pueblo tribesman. Leslie Marmon Silko's retelling earned her recognition as writer of promise.
The author, born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1948 but raised on the nearby Laguna reservation, lived the blending and conflict between tribal and Catholic religious practice described in her story. "The Man to Send Rainclouds" focuses on the passing of one Pueblo man and how his funeral ceremony represents the reconciliation of religious traditions.