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Kachina Types - Page 3
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Eagle - Known as Kwahu, this kachina represents strength and power and is the ruler of the sky and the messenger to the heavens. The overseer of all of the Kachinas, he is treated as an honored guest and is given presents like the children. He appears most often with Mudheads in the Kiva or Repeat Dances of early March, is one of the main dancers in the Solstice Parade, and is personified in the Powamu Ceremony. Each dancer is pressured to imitate every step and cry of the eagle to absolute perfection.

 

Earth God or Skeleton Man - Called Masauwu, this kachina is not only the God of the Earth but also the Spirit of Death and controls the land of the Underworld, is the Keeper of Fire, and the door keeper to the Fifth World. He is the only kachina that does not go home after the final ceremony (Niman Ceremony) of the season. On earth, he gives the Hopi their land, their honor, and blesses them on their travels. In the Underworld, he controls the passage of the dead and the movements of the kachinas emerging from the Underworld into the world of the living. He does many things in reverse because the world of the dead is the reverse of this world. He may come down a ladder backwards, or perform other actions in reverse. Similarly, though he is described as wearing a hideous mask, but alternately,  described as a handsome, bejeweled man beneath his mask. Occasionally, he may appear as a pair and start behaving wildly -- singing loudly, beating on the kiva hatchways with willow switches, dancing around the fires of the cooking pits, and sometimes even walk through the fires. However, he is also assigned certain benevolent attributes.

 

Fire God - Known as Shulawitsi, this kachina is mostly seen portrayed by a boy and though not a hunter, he is sometimes seen carrying a bow and arrow. His purpose is to looks after the Sun and fire.

The Shulawitsi is very close in appearance to the Kokosori, but they are not the same. He is usually seen in the Mixed Dance with Zuni Kachinas.


Fish - Pakiokwik KachinaFish - Called Pakiokwik, very little is known of this mysterious Kachina except it is thought that he is a very old one. The total lack of fish on the Hopi mesas suggests that he originates in one of the pueblos along the Rio Grande.


Fly - Known as Sohonasomtaka  this kachina can be a Chief, Guard, or Hunter depending on the ceremony. He may also appear as a warrior who punishes the clowns when they get out of hand. As a guard he would protect and keep ceremonies from outsider intrusions. Insect and animal kachinas offer advice and teach life to the Hopi people.

 

Frog - The Frog or Paqua (Pauataga) Kachina's purpose is to bring rain and more Frogs. Rarely seen, when he is making noises, he is calling out for rain. The Frog and other reptile Kachinas are believed to provide guidance, health, and protection. The origin of this kachina is unknown but it is probably a Water clan Kachina.

 

Germination God - Called Ahola, he plays a major role in the Hopi culture, controlling the growth and reproduction of all things. He is the oldest of the Kachina Clan and is the Solstice or Return Kachina, as well as the Sun Kachina. Most Hopi women place seeds of corn at the door of the kiva before the Ahola appears so that his presence blesses the seeds to be reproductive. He visits each of the kivas to offer strength for the upcoming year and an the end of the ceremony, descends to a shrine where he bows four times to the Sun and asks for long life, good health, happiness, and good crops for his children.


Giant - Known as Chaveyo this threatening kachina appears at anytime in the spring to punish or discipline villagers who have misbehaved, such a breaking the rules of conduct, failing to meet work requirements, etc. He, along with Hahai-i-Wuhti (Pour Water Woman) are the parents of the dreaded ogres known as Nataskas. He is usually seen in the Powamu or Water Serpent Dance, and often seen with the Soyoko (Ogre Woman). Hopi Oral history includes the story where Chaveyo headed the Hopi warriors in the Pueblo Rebellion at the Hopi village of Oraibi in killing the Franciscan priest and destroying the church and mission. Hopi oral literature where when the people of the village behave improperly their chief seeks help to end their evil ways. In full warrior/hunter regalia he would confront the offender ordering him to follow proper Hopi ways. More recently, during the summer celebrations, the Giant Ogre assumes the role of policeman. The Giant Kachina is a favorite of kachina carvers.

 

Grandmother - Also known as Pour Water Woman or Mother Earth, her Hopi name is Ha Hai-i Wuhti. Like the Crow Mother Kachina, the she is also known as the mother of all Kachinas and nourishes all beings including humans and kachinas. Some Hopi say she is married to Eototo, the chief of all kachinas. She is in many important ceremonies such as the Hopi Shalako, the Water Serpent, Soyoko and the Powamu. Her personality is as colorful as a sprightly Hopi grandmother and she is unusual in that she is quite vocal, a rarity among kachinas.

 

 

 

Great Horned Owl - Called Mongwu, this kachina is a warrior who disciplines the clown when their behavior becomes too outrageous. He appears in Mixed Kachina Dance and in some ordinary dances. He is a favorite of kachina carvers.

 

Guard - Called Heoto, this Kachina can be considered as either a warrior or a guard. Individually, the Heoto may function as a policeman. Over the years many of these functions have been lost. He has some relation to the Chawaina Kachina. He may have originated from Zuni. In the Bean Dance Parade and during Initiation years at the Pachavu Ceremony, he functions a guard. ??


Guard Woman - Known as Heoto Mana this kachina is in a category of Kachinas that can either be considered as warriors, or gaurds. Individually, the Heoto mana may function as a policewoman. Over the years, many of these original functions have been lost. The Heoto Mana, and the Heoto may have both come from the Zuni tribe. The Heoto Mana appears everywhere with Heoto and dances on all three mesas. Her function is similar to that of He-e-e, the Warrior Maiden Kachina. She also acts as a guard in some places.

 

Hair Cutter - Known as Hemsona, this runner kachina participates in races and when he beats a challenger, he grabs him, holds him to the ground, and cuts off a knot of his hair. Therefore, he races with a pair of shears or scissors or a knife in his hand. One legend tells that Hemsona used to be a killer hired by the Walpi Indians to murder chief's son during a race. Hemsona cut the chief's son's throat when he caught him. From then on Hemsona was hampered in races, because he was handicapped with a mask and a heavier costume, which would hopefully prevent him from winning more races.

 

Hano Mana - Also called Tewa Girl, this long-haired kachina maiden that hold spruce and corn in each hand, she is a favorite for the first or second gift to the girls by the men of their villages. Usually, she wears a maiden shawl and is sometime displayed with her hair put up in Tewa-style knot. She appears in the Bean Dance, Water Serpent Ceremony.

 

He-e-wuhti - Wearing the black face of a warrior, this female kachina is powerful and terrible to behold. She holds a bow and her hair is tied up on one side onto the wooden form used to create the “Whorl” hair design of a Hopi maiden. Her hair is down and flowing on the other side, the aspect in which she was found as her mother was preparing her hair when an enemy attacked the Pueblo. She is so powerful that Whipper Kachinas keep the spectators away from her path to keep them from being harmed by her spirit.

 

Hehea KachinaHehea - A Hopi clown kachina, Hehea's mask is is decorated with a zigzag marking on each cheek, a crooked mouth, and his arms and legs painted with phallic symbols. He appears in certain kiva exercises at the ceremonial grinding of meal by the Ana kachina manas. He is also associated with the Corn Maidens and the Natackas. He sometimes appears in ceremonial public dances. Hehea is evidently an ancient kachina and from his appearance in many primitive ceremonies, both public and secret, he is thought to be connected with very old rituals.

 

Hehea Mana - The sister of Hehea, this kachina accompanies the Natacka group in the Powamu ceremony. She is rpresented in this image with the characteristic coiffure of a maiden and has the same zigzag facial lines as her brother. On her arms are the same pahllic symbols, and in her hand she carries a lariat.If anyone refuses to grant the requests of Natackas for meat or food, both she and her brother try to lasso the delinquent.

 

Heluta - The father of the kachinas and the creator of deer. As father of kachinas he is first to appear at kachina dances, announcing the kachinas to the people by means of signs. He is a figure in many stories.
 

Hemis - A kachina of the Jemez tribe, it was borrowed by the Hopi because it appears particularly effective. This kachina wears a mask that shows fertility symbols and shakes a rattle to evoke the sound of rain. It brings abundant, high-yielding crops of corn.

 

Ho'e - A clown Kachina who appears in the Bean Dance. There are usually several Ho'e causing mischief through the crowd as the procession travels around the village and they are the last to settle down and go into the kiva.

 

Hototo - The preparer of food and the most respected of the war Kachinas.

Hoop Dancer - He amuses the audience at ceremonies, tossing rings that represent the circle of life.


Horse - Known as Kawai-i, this kachina got its name from the Spanish word for horse, caballo. A relatively new kachina, it wasn't introduced by the Hopi until the early 1900's, as they long preferred the burro as a beast of burden. He is said to represent the spirit of the horse and is identified by the black figure of a horse painted on each cheek of his white mask. He appears in the Soyohim Ceremony, the Mixed Kachina Dances, the Bean Dance, and the Kiva Dances.


Hornet or Wasp - Called Tatangaya, this colorful Kachina is thought to have been of Zuni origin and adopted into the Hopi culture. Though insects and reptiles are an important part of puebloan traditions, their exact purpose is unknown. He is seen in Pamuya or Mixed Katsina Dances the dolls are often presented to young girls by the dancers.

 

Hu - A whipper kachina, these spirits purify children, clowns and Crow Mothers by whipping them with the yucca fronds that he carries in both hands. Bulging eyes and fierce zigzag teeth represent a terrifying reminder of the persistent role of giants in the Hopi culture.

 

Hummingbird - Called Tocha, this kachina appears during Kiva Dances in the winter, and during the Soyohim Dances in the spring. When it enters a kiva, it usually dances by bobbing its head and making calls like the humming bird before moving rapidly around the kiva. During a dance, when it catches an individual, it whips him or her with yucca leaves. This kachina often appears as a runner because it is fast.

 

Hututu and/or Sai-astasana KachinaHututu and/or Sai-astasana - These kachinas originated in the Zuni Pueblo and were adopted by the Hopi. Hututu got his name from the sound that he makes and the name is the same with both the Zuni and the Hopi. Hututu is a Zuni Rain Priest of the North and holds a Bow and the Shoulder Bones of a Sheep. He appears with many of the other Zuni kachinas when they dance at Hopi. Probably the only difference that may be noted by the observer between Hututu and Sai-astasana is the presence of a horn on Sai-astasana's head, while Hututu has a terraced ornament on one side of the head.

 

Kachina Maiden - Called Kachin’ Mana, she appears more often than other "female" kachinas, offering a prayer for corn. Also called Blue Corn Maiden and Yellow corn Maiden.

 

Kobictaiya Kachina - These are the powerful spirit beings similar to kachinas. A story tells how it was determined that they would never know sexual intercourse. The daughter of a war chief dies. Her body is stolen by witches (kanadyaiya) who revive her in order to seduce her. The Kobictaiya come to her rescue.
 

Kokopelli - A hunched back flute player, fertility god, seducer of young girls, and baby-maker, he carries a bag of presents to distribute to the women he seduces. Probably the most popular kachina of all, his image appears widely in rock art and ancient pottery throughout the southwest and today this figure is a widely used motif on pottery, jewelry, and other Native American items. He only appears in the Mixed Kachina Dances and sometimes he appears in the Night Dance. Although his origins and the significance of his prehistoric appearances are speculative, he has a contemporary presence as a figure in Hopi stories and as a Hopi kachina.

 

Koshari Clown - Known by various names including Clown, Glutton, and Hano Clown, variants of this kachine can be found in most of the pueblos in New Mexico, as well as in the Hopi Mesas of Arizona. These figures can be both sacred and profane, displaying actions that though often humerous, are also inappropriate. They are often shown with watermelons to show they are gluttonous and generally display actions of overdoing everything they set about.

 

Koyemsi - See Mudhead.

 

Left-Hand - Also called Siyangephoya, he is only Kachina with all his gear reversed and carries his bow in his right hand instead of his left. In fact, he does most everything the opposite of what is normal. He appears in many dances, like the Mixed Kachina, in groups in the kivas or separately as a warrior in the Powamu ceremony. A great deal of the time he has trouble with Ho-e when they appear in the same dance. Sometimes he acts as a prompter, and sometimes he dances by making strange bobbing-mincing steps at the edge of the procession. Despite his odd behavior, he is supposed to be an excellent hunter. He is a favorite subject for the carving of Kachina Dolls or in paintings.

 

Little Fire God - Called Shulawitsi, this Zuni kachina descends from the hills to begin the Shalako ceremony, followed by the Shalako kachinas who are accompanied by Longhorns, Mudheads, and many other kachinas as well as priests. In the ceremony, lengthy prayers are recited, after which comes a resting period before the food is served and the dancing begins.


Lizard - Called Monongya this warrior kachinas helps to make sure that the Hopi clown does not get too far or get out of hand and is involved in punishing or chastising the clowns. He is also known to bring sweethearts together, similary to Cupid. He represents a particular species of lizard called the Crotophytus, that was chosen because it is very fast, and it is represented using the bright color of turquoise. The Lizard Kachina appears in the Mixed Dance and in the Powamu Ceremony.

 

Long-Billed - Called Wupamo, this kachina is a guard who carries whips to keep every everyone in their proper place. He is usually found during the Powamu procession circling from the sides or swinging in from the rear. He keeps onlookers clear of the procession route and controls the clown's boundaries. He is also known as a healer and those who are suffering from any sickness may request aid from him by allowing him to strike the affected body part with his whip.


Long-Haired - Called Angak'china, his main purpose is to bring rain to the people and their crops. His long hair, which is worn loosely down the back, resembles the falling rain with the eagle breast plumes rising like clouds above it. These kachinas appear in the Niman Ceremony. He is one of the most favored Kachinas among the Hopi because of the melodious songs and the beautiful dances that they do in the spring. Many varieties of this kachina exist including Barefoot, Bounding, Navajo, Tewa, and Lightning.

 

Marble Player or Gambler - Known as Qoqole, this kachina can be seen during the Soyal ceremony accompanied by his maiden spirit and is usually seen in groups of Qoqole. He opens the Kivas, so other kachinas can visit the village. They are often seen shooting marbles. One thing that separates the Qoqole from other kachinas dolls is that he wears old Anglo clothing.

 

Matia KachinaMatia - This figure has a human hand painted on its face, on which account it is caled Matia, or Hand kachina. Another designation, Talakin, refers to the girl who follows, stirring the contents of a cooking pot which Matia carries on his back. He is said to appear in the foot races. A being with the figure of a hand on the face also occurs in Zuni dances. He is also known as the Pot Carrier, Sivu-i-quil Taka,

Malachpeta and Malatsmo.

 

Medicine Man - Prepares herbs and roots to prevent and cure sickness. He is also wise and gives advice.

 

Mocking - Known as Kwikwilyaka, this is a clown kachinia who mimicks anything and everything in his sight. He entertains the crowd by reflecting the personality of anybody he sees and will not stop until he finds a more interesting victim to make fun of. He is usually seen in the Bean Dance, and he competes with the Ho-E kachina for attention from the crowd. The Mocking Kachina has hair made up of cedar bark, which is sometimes lit on fire by the Ho-E kachinas who try to get rid of him.


Morning Singer - This kachina appears on village rooftops and sings to wake everyone up.

 

Mountain Lion - Called Toho, this kachina often accompanies such animals as the Deer or Antelope Kachinas when they appear in the Line Dances of spring. In this event, he is a side dancer who carries a talavaiyi, a cane with eagle feathers and red horsehair fringe in his hands. However, during the Pachavu or Tribal Initiation about every fourth year, Toho appears as a guard often accompanied by the Deer Kachina. Armed with yucca whips, he patrols the procession in company with He-e-e, Warrior Woman, and other warrior or guard kachinas.

 

Mountain Sheep KachinaMountain Sheep - Called Panwa, this mountain sheep kachina is represented by a well carved doll, illustrating many of the symbolic characters of this interesting personage. The top of the head has two curved, slightly twisted white horns, along the front of which are zigzag green lines. Upon these are fastened little clusters of downy breath feathers. The Panwa kachina like other animal kachinas has the power to strengthen the chance of abundant animals for hunting season.

 

Morning Singer - Known as Talavai, this kachina's function has changed over the years. He used to appear in pairs, stand on rooftops, and sing at dawn to wake the villagers. However, although they still sing in pairs, they are just seen standing on the side of the main Powamu procession today and sing only occasionally, usually while holding their spruce trees, and ringing their bells. The Morning Singer wears the red and white maiden's robe, which is typical of any kachina that appears in the early morning.

 

Mouse Kachina - The mouse is a hero of the Second Mesa legend. The mouse helped the village to get rid of an unwanted chicken hawk by tricking him into diving into a wooden stake.


Mudhead Kachina - Known as Koyemsi, these are the most popular Kachinas among the Hopi people because they appear in all of the ceremonies. Mud Head usually accompanies most Kachinas during the ceremonies, and they come as clowns, announcers of dances, drummers and singers. During the breaks in a dance, they may engage in games with the boys and girls in the audience. This multi-faceted clown borrowed from Zuni.

 

Natacka Ogre Kachina.Natacka - These kachinas are the feared Ogres of the Hopi. Of these, there are several: Nanatacka Tataki - Natacka male; Nanatacka mana - Natacka maiden; Natacka wuqti - Natacka's mother; and Natacka naamu - Their father. During the process of collecting food from Hopi homes for distribution to the kachinas in the kivas, the Natackas make horrible noises to scare the children. From the earliest ages, Hopi children have heard stories about how the Natackas would abduct children and eat them, so they are terrified of them. The parent or parents bargain with the Nataskas to leave the children alone and when the Natackas agree, the parent is the hero and the children are saved. Pictured at left is Natacka Naamu, the father ogre.

 

Navajo Grandfather KachinaNavajo Grandfather - Known as Tacab Yebitcai - Grandfather kachinas sing songs for a successful growing season. He does not speak but pantomimes whatever he wants. He starts the dance, acting as a leader in both singing and dancing. His dance step is an exaggeration, and a very lively one, that may be interspersed with a comic actions. On this drawing, the artist has depicted on the mask a stalk of corn on a white face. The eyes and mouth are surrounded by two half rectangles. A conventional ear of corn is painted on the left cheek. There is likewise a crest of eagle feathers on the head. Yebitcai wears a blue calico shirt, black velvet pantaloons, and Navaho leggings. Both the pantaloons and the leggings have a row of white disks along the outside which represent the well-known silver buttons, and he wears a belt of silver disks strung on a leather strap. A buckskin is represented over his right shoulder, and in his left hand he carries a bow and two arrows, and a skin pouch for sacred meal.

 

Navajo Kachina - Represents the Navajo Tribe as viewed by other tribes in the Southwest.

 

Navajo Grandfather - Called Tasap Yeibichai this is the grandfather of the Navajo Kachina, and is one of the more enjoyable features of the Navajo Kachina Dance. He does not speak but pantomimes in a comical way. He starts the dance, acting as a leader in both the singing and the dancing. His dance step is a lively exaggeration that may be interspersed with a comic action such as the request for large amounts of food. His pantomime that bring laughter to the audience.


Ogre - There are both Black and white Ogre kachinas. The White Ogre, called Wiharu, represents good; while the Black Ogre, called Nata-aska, threatens small children who are naughty. Both ogres usually carry a saw or knife, as well as a bow and arrows for hunting. Their most noticeable feature is their long, chomping jaws, which are often clacking. These Ogres will accompany Soyoko (Ogre Woman) on her trip to collect food from the children and make certain they help with chores and growing corn. As a means of discipline, children are told the ogres can swallow them whole.

 

Ogre Man - Known as Awatovi, this ogre kachina  is believed to originate from the destroyed town of Awatovi. Seldom impersonated, when he does he performs similar functions as other ogres, like standing beside the Ogre Woman, and putting food he has gathered from the villagers into his basket. During the actions of the Ogre Woman, he stands by her side, while stomping and grumbling to scare the children. He usually wears a black breechclout rather than an embroidered kilt and his calves and forearms are often covered with black or red spots.

 

Ogre Woman - Known as Soyoko, this kachina has a hideous appearance and is equipped with cleavers and saws with the purpose of disciplining naughty children. Upon a parent's request, several of these ogre figures appear at the home of the naughty child. They demand impossible tasks of the children, warning them they will be back to check on them in several days. This Monster Woman appears during the Powamu ceremony dressed all in black, with long straggling hair, staring eyes and a wide-fanged mouth. When she speaks, it is in a wailing falsetto or with a long dismal hoot of 'Soyokó-u-u-u.' from which her name is derived. She may reach for the children with the long crook and threaten to put them in the basket on her back, or to cut off their heads with the large knife that she carries in her hand utterly terrifying her young audience. In some villages she leads the procession of ogres; in others she remains at the side, content to make threatening gestures.

 

Old Man - Known as Wuwuyomo grandfather Kachina is called Old Man because he is very ancient. He may also be known as Mong or Chief Kachina and always appears in groups of four the Powamu ceremony singing songs for a successful growing season.

 

Owl - Symbolizing intelligence and wisdom, this kachina is beneficial to agriculture because of his destruction to rodents.

 

 

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