Kachinas: (This is not a list of all kachinas, but includes many of
the more popular and most seen ones.)
- A maiden spirit, she arrives with Ahola during the Powamu ceremony and
with him, she visits various kivas and ceremonial houses. On these visits
she carries a tray with various kinds of seeds.
Aholi - The
Chief Kachina's (Eototo) lieutenant, he helps the chief bring moisture to
the villages. Aholi Kachina is a beautiful doll that usually appears with
a tall blue helmet and a colorful cloak consisting of colors that
represents the flowers and the essence of summer and the likeness of
Muyingwa, the Germ God. A patron of the
Hopi Pikya clan, Aholi once
allowed his throat to be slit so that Eototo could escape.
- Also known as Ahul this Hopi kachina, embodied by a man, is one of the
important chief kachinas for the First and Second Mesas because he opens
the mid-winter Powamu ceremony, sometimes called the bean planting
festival. On the first night of the festival, he performs inside a kiva
before going with the Powamu Chief to give prayer feathers to Kachina
Spring at dawn. Afterwards, he and the Powamu Chief visit all of the kivas
and ceremonial houses, giving out bean and corn plants and marking the
doorways with stripes of cornmeal. At the end of the ceremony, Ahola
descends to a shrine, bows four times to the Sun, and asks for health,
happiness, long life, and good crops. Ahola is also the friend of Eototo (Aholi)
and one legend tells of Ahola having his throat cut to let Eototo to
- This figure participates in the the Soyal Ceremony appearing with two
Soyal Manas on the morning of the last day of the event. The decoration of the Ahulani
mask differs in its symbolism on alternate years, according to whether the
Snake or Flute Dance is celebrated. Ahulani carries under his left arm
several ears of corn and spruce boughs or twigs. In his left hand he bears
a chief's bdge and skin pouch with a sacred meal, while in his right, he
carries a staff. In the image at right, Ahulani is escorted by two Soyal
Mana kachinas, which differ only in the color of corn which they carry;
one has yellow, the other blue corn.
Known as Chop or Sowi-ing this kachina dances to increase its numbers and
brings rain. There are many similarities between this spirit and the Deer
Kachina, but they can be differentiated by the deer's antlers or the
antelope's horns. When he appears, he is often accompanied by the Mountain
Sheep Kachina, and the Wolf Kachina.
Apache Dancer - Known as Yoche this spirit is mainly seen during the Kiva
Dances. Also called the “Mountain God”, he protects the Apache tribe in
war time and will appear in the coming of age ceremonies for young girls.
Badger - Called Hototo, this kachina has many roles including guard, gift
bearer, and warrior, and plays important part, as animals are
teachers, advisors, and doctors. The preparer of food and the most
respected of the war kachinas. He is mainly seen during the Bean and
Mixed Kachina Dances.
Bean - Dances
for a plentiful crop of beans.
Bear - Also
called Hon, the Bear Kachinas are very powerful, capable of curing bad
illnesses, and are great warriors. They are frequently distinguished only
by color, such as white, black, blue, or yellow.
dances as a watchman or side dancer during the Soyal Dance and he sings
while dancing outside the lines during the Mixed Dance. His most
distinctive feature is the presence of a bear footprint on both cheeks.
Dancer/Raven - A warrior whose main purpose is to make war on the Clown kachinas and to warn anyone else who does not behave.
- The Ahote Kachina also is seen to come Plains Indian influence, mainly
due to the wearing of a long eagle feather headdress.
Blue Whipper - Known as Sakwa Hu this being is considered an old kachina
although it is usually impersonated by small boys. Its main functions are
that of a guard at certain ceremonies, where he is known to punish clowns,
children, and people when they misbehave.