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To describe the various Kachinas listed below, I relied on the knowledge and the work of Barton Wright. The descriptions I have put here are extremely abbreviated to what Mr. Wright has gathered during his extensive experience and research. Within his book, "Hopi Kachinas, The Complete Guide to Collecting Kachina Dolls", Barton Wright describes some 650 Kachinas to great detail as well as their individual as well as collective importance to the Hopi people. This book as of the time of this website article can still be obtained from www.amazon.com for sure, and very likely other books stores as well.
HERE THEN ARE A FEW OF THE KATSINAM:
old type of First Mesa kachina; a “wuya” which refers to
wisdom/power as it is attributed to spiritual/religious elders; will
appear in the Bean Dance.
Old Man Kachina
An elder who comes
to the clowns, as far as ritual participants are concerned and
to all people in general who will listen. He tries to encourage the
people to right their wrongs or, if you will, change the wrong
direction of their Paths.
say this is a Zuni, as opposed to Hopi, Kachina.
However, it is also said that this Kachina does not appear on
any Zuni listing. So, until and unless I ever learn differently, your
guess is as good as mine.
The Buffalo Maiden is a dancer,
not technically a kachina. Purportedly her inclusion comes from the
Rio Grande Pueblo Indians via the Plains Indians (or vice versa, I
Kachina also is seen to come Plains Indian influence, mainly
due to the wearing of a long eagle feather headdress.
Kachina. The Humming Bird Kachina is a highly regarded and
Kachina. They are also as guards against witchcraft.
Eototo is the chief of all kachinas as
well as being know as the Father of the Kachinas and is the spiritual
counterpart of the village chief.
Some have Aholi
as Eototo’s companion or Lieutenant (3rd Mesa). He is a
spiritual leader among other roles.
can be a bit confusing for she is Crow Bride on the 3rd Mesa but is
known as Crow Mother on the other two mesas. Still, either way the
roles are comparable.
is considered by many Hopi to be the mother of all Kachinas (although
not the wife of Eototo). Reference above about Crow Bride.
Soyok Wuti is a
First Mesa Kachina, although she too can and will appear in
somewhat altered forms on the 2nd and 3rd Mesas. Her role is to teach
discipline to the children.
usually distinguished only by color, such as White, Blue,
Yellow or Black. All Bear Kachinas are believed to be very powerful,
great warriors, and adept at curing illnesses.
aids in causing rains to come as well as enabling grass to grow.
I have not seen a culture yet that
did not have a particular “lover”,
this the epitome as far as Kachinas go. He is also seen as a flute
player. Do you recall “Pan” of other culture mythology? It
is said that he represents a trader and that in reality the so-called
hump on his back is a backpack.
Great Horned Owl
is my personal favorite. He always stands ready to slap some common
sense into the clowns.
Hano clown. Koshares are the ultimate example of overdoing
everything, including gluttony. Large watermelons are often depicted
with these clowns to emphasize the gluttony. They are figures that are
both sacred and profane. Basically, their purpose is to show how
overdoing anything is bad not only for the individual but for the
people as a whole as well.
Red Beard, Long
Hair Kachina: Angak'china
seem to be everywhere, in the Hopi Mesas and in many Pueblos
along the Rio Grande. He brings rain and flowers.
Mana appears in regular Kachina dances with household ware,
accompanied by Long Haired Kachina.
White Ogre Kachina:
Black Ogre and Soyoko [Ogre Woman] on her trip collecting food from
Black Ogre, and Wiharu, the White Ogre, carry a saw (sometimes
a knife) as well as a bow and arrows for hunting. Their outstanding
feature is their long, flapping jaws, which they can clack most
appears as a side dancer who accompanies the Deer and Mountain Sheep
Kachinas in the Soyohim dances. As might be expected it is revered for
its power as a hunter.
will sometimes appear with Mudheads at night ceremonies in March.
appears in Bean dance.
appears on rooftops in the early morning and sings happy, sad, or
An ogre Kachina
who may come at any time during the spring months, if Hopi children
are particularly bad. All peoples have a “Boogy Man” to keep
children line, this is the Hopi version.
English translation.) Derived from a Plains
Indian tradition, the Kachina appears in the Mixed dances, and
is a good hunter.
Hé-é-é, according to legend, a young
woman who, in the midst of having her hair put up, takes up her
father's weapons upon being attacked by enemies, rallies the village
men and fights until the enemy is defeated. Hence the maiden's swirl
of hair on one side and not the other. During ceremonies, she leads a
group of fearsome warriors. In another version, the Warrior Maiden is
actually a male dressed in women's dress. Personally, I not only like
the first version but also believe it to be the valid version as there
are always men in any “people” who simply can not stand the
thought of a woman being a “hero”.
appears in ordinary Kachina dances.
represents the spirit of the sun god and appears in regular Kachina
appears in Plaza dances, usually accompanied by the predatory
appears in mixed dances, said to be very powerful and can heal
Kachina: Kwa or
Kwahu, sometimes appears with Mudheads at night ceremonies in
Spring. In the Kiva or Repeat Dances of early March, the dance
is a conscious effort to duplicate the actions and motions of eagles
and is a prayer for an increase of eagles. Eagles occupy a rather
unique position among the Hopi, for they are treated as honored
guests, and are given presents just as the Hopi children are.
or Tungwup, appears at Bean Dance with Crow Mother.
Mana, to be accurate, is not a Kachina, but a woman dancer
appearing in one of the initiation dances.
Ta-amu carries a yucca whip. Sometimes acts as leader in the
Bean Dance parade.)
Mong or Chief
represents the spirit of the germ god, Alosoka,
a deity who controls the growth and reproduction of all things.
Mudhead Kachina (Koyemsi.)
The most common Hopi clown, appear in Mixed Kachina dances.
Navajo Night Chant
Yeibichai: This kachina is intended
as a replica of the Navajo Talking God,
the leader of the Yeibichai dancers who wear masks of the Yei and
appear in the ninth and last night of the Navajo's Nightway healing
Blue Corn Maiden: The
Kachin' Mana, or Kachina Maiden, is the most ubiquitous of all
the women who appear with other kachinas. If she is carrying blue
corn, she is known as the Blue Corn Maiden, similarly yellow corn,
etc. She also changes her name to that of the kachina with whom she is
dancing, although her appearance does not change. Her presence is a
prayer for corn.
Palhik Mana or Butterfly Maiden: The
Palhik Mana, or Butterfly Maiden, is one of the most popular
kachinas in the Hopi carvers' repertoire. This beautifully dressed
figure is not really a kachina, but rather a woman's dance personage.
Squash Kachina: Also
known as the Patung Kachina is a chief Kachina of the
“wuya” for the Pumpkin Clan. Plants are of great importance to the
Hopi, because of their dependence upon them for food. There are
relatively few members of this clan left, and consequently their
stories are not very well known.
Long-Haired Kachina: Angak'china,
the Long-Haired Kachina, is a bringer of gentle rains and flowers. He
is the Kokokshi of Zuni, and yet he appears in almost all of the
pueblos from the Hopi to the Rio Grande. His songs are melodic and the
dance a beautiful one to see in the springtime, and is a favorite of
The Warrior Mouse is not a dance
figure at all, but rather the hero of a Second Mesa legend. A mouse
undertook to rid the village of a pesky chickenhawk. This he did by
taunting the hawk and eventually tricking him to dive into a stake and
impale himself. Hopi do not consider this doll a kachina, and most
anthologies do not include him in their roster.
Hopi have several borrowed kachinas, the Hemis Kachina, or Jemez
Kachina, is one of them. The Hemis Kachina is most often used for the
Niman or Home-Going Ceremony when the kachinas leave the Mesas for six
months. It is one of the most appropriate kachinas for this farewell,
as it is the first kachina to bring mature corn to the people,
indicating that the corn crop is assured.
or Left-Handed [Hunter] Kachina, is said by some be be derived from
the Hualapai Indians, but other Hopi attribute them to the Chemehuevi.
He is left-handed because his gear is reversed, and to draw an arrow
from the quiver, he must use his right hand rather than his left, as
is normal. This kachina moves with strange bobbings and little mincing
steps. Despite his odd behavior, he is supposed to be an excellent
hunter. In carvings, he is usually shown with a rabbit at his feet.
or Mountain Lion Kachina, often accompanies such animals as the
Deer or Antelope Kachinas when they appear in the Line Dances of
spring. However, during the Pachavu or Tribal Initiation about every
fourth year, Toho appears as a guard. Armed with yucca whips, he
patrols the procession in company with He-e-e, Warrior Woman, and
other warrior or guard kachinas.
Snake Dancers: Chusona, or
Snake Dancer, is mistakenly taken for a kachina. It is not,
being rather a society personage, but one of great popularity. The
Snake Dance has always had a intense fascination for the non-Hopi, and
in consequence effigies of this personage have been carved for many
years. As a side note,
this summer dance had been ruled off limits to non-Hopi, because the
crowds attending had become so offensive to the Hopi religious
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