Many different styles of kachinas exist to provide different types of examples and guidance for the tribe. Each type has a particular set of characteristics and a distinctive personality. When impersonated, a costume, song style, and set of body movements are both repeated and unique. Most kachinas are considered benevolent friends, although some are clowns and still others punish wayward people.
Chief Kachinas – Those who take part in nine-day ceremonies. Chief kachinas are important, and particular Chiefs are important to certain clans. Their roles mirror that of the elders — they look after the well-being of the clan, and can only be portrayed by specific clan members. Chief kachinas include:
Long Billed/Wupamo (also a Guard)
Red Tail Hawk (Palakwayo)
Wupamo (Also a Warrior kachina)
Ogres – The ogres are disciplinary kachinas. Their purpose is to frighten children into good behavior. During ceremonies, they demand food and visit each home in the pueblo or village. Each ogre has his or her own personality and role within a ceremony. The ogre kachinas include:
Giant Ogre (Chaveyo)
Natask (Black Ogre)
Warriors or Guards – Serves as policemen and are important for functions before and during war. In the ceremonies, they enforce actions such as communal cleaning, prevent interruptions, protect the kachinas and punishes the unruly clowns. They may carry yucca whips or bows. Warrior kachinas include:
Crow Man (Angwus)
Hilili (Also a Whipper kanchina)
Warrior Maiden (He-e-e or He-wuhti)
Wupamo (Also a Chief kachina)
Runners – Runners are racing kachinas who run and race with the men of the pueblos during ceremonies. Those who lose the race are whipped with yucca leaves, are forced to eat chile or have mud thrown at them by the Runners, while those who beat them are given piki bread. Runner kachinas include:
Chili Pepper (Tsil)
Rattle Runner (Aya)
Red Kilt Runner (Palavitkuna)
Red Tail Hawk Kachina
Road Runner (Hospoa)
Clowns – Those who offer comic relief during the dances. Clown kachinas include:
Sun Kachina (Tawa)
General Styles – Animals, plants and other natural forms living and non-living
Female (Momoyam) – Female kachinas are the wives, mothers, and sisters of the other kachina spirits, but they are often still portrayed by men. The exception is Pachavuin Mana. Each usually accompanies another kachina. Female kachinas include:
Butterfly Maiden (Palhik)
Corn Maiden (Corn Mana)
Kachina Maiden (Hoho Mana), a Zuni kachina
Warrior Maiden (He-e-e or He-wuhti)
White Corn maiden (Angak china Mana or Kocha Mana)
Animals (Popkot) – Animal kachinas act as advisors, doctors and teachers. They have taught the use and administration of herbs in healing and taught the warriors about avoiding danger. Animal kachinas include:
Deer Dancer (Sowi-ingwa)
Great Horned Owl (Mongwu)
White Bear (Hon)
Other Kachinas – Other kachina groups can include plants, whippers, hunters and kachinas borrowed from other pueblos.
Individual Kachinas: (This is not a list of all kachinas, but includes many of the more popular and most seen ones.)
Ahol Mana – 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.
Ahola – 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. Afterward, 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 escape.
Ahulani – This figure participates in 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 badge 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.
Antelope – 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 wartime 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 an 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.
The bear 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.
Black Crow Dancer/Raven – A warrior whose main purpose is to make war on the Clown kachinas and to warn anyone else who does not behave.
Blue Ahote – 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.
Broad Faced – Called Wuyak-kuita, this guard kachina helps the other guards prevent any transgression on the path of the kachinas during ceremonies. He accompanies the Soyoko (Ogre Woman) and helps her in all her activities. Carrying yucca whips and moving in an intimidating manner, he terrifies the clowns when he moves toward them. On Third Mesa, he is the kachina who guards the kivas to keep Ha Hai-i Wuhti (Grandmother) from getting too close during the Palolokong Ceremony.
Broadface Dancer – This kachina carries yucca whips to make people of the village join together to clean the community areas.
Butterfly Dancer – Represents the butterfly that lands on flowers, then the medicine man uses these in his medications.
Butterfly Maiden/Palhik Mana – Known as Poli Mana she dances from flower to flower, pollinating the fields and bringing life-giving rain in the spring. She is represented by a woman dancer at the yearly Butterfly Dance, a traditional initiation rite for Hopi girls. Hopi girls participating in the Butterfly Dancewear ornate headdresses called kopatsoki. One of the most popular of the carved dolls, this beautifully dressed figure is not really a kachina, but rather a woman’s dance personage. Generally, she is not masked and the doll typically includes butterfly and corn symbols.
Buffalo Dancer – The most powerful among all Kachina dolls, he can kill any evil thoughts and is a great spiritual protector.
Buffalo Maiden – The Buffalo Maiden or Mosairu Mana appears with Mosairu (Buffalo Kachina). She prays for more Buffaloes along with Mosairu. Like most maidens, the Buffalo maiden also asks for rain. It carries the sun on its back, which represents her presence in summer dances.
Buffalo Mosairu – The appearance of the Buffalo Kachina (Mosairu) is similar to the Buffalo Dancer with one exception: the Buffalo Kachina wears a mask. The mask has globular eyes and a snout. He usually dances in the Plaza Dance with the Mixed Dancers. They perform using the rattle and the lightning stick, and along with the other game animal Kachinas, they pray for an increase of buffalos. In the past, most of the Buffalo Kachinas were made with green masks, but nowadays they are commonly found with black and white ones.
Butterfly Man – Known as Poli Taka this impersonating Kachina works to bring rain and crops to the earth. Participates in the Butterfly Dance. The doll is usually unmasked but wears a tablet. Originally the Kachina did not have wings, but over time the wings were added onto the doll to increase its popularity.
Buffalo Warrior Dancer – He protects the food supply and makes sure there will be adequate food for the winter.
Chakwaina – Also called Tcakwaina, this kachina appears in Zuni, and Keresan ceremonies, but does not appear in Tewa ceremonies. Usually depicted as an ogre, with ferocious teeth and a black goatee and black mask with yellow eyes, it is often claimed that Chakwaina is a ceremonial representation of Estevanico, a Moroccan-born slave who led the first Spanish party to the Pueblo tribes as a scout for the expedition of Fray Marcos de Niza in 1539. Estevanico was said to have been killed by the Zuni. Although usually black, there are white or albino Chakwaina representations.
Chasing Star – A symbol for the plants and stars, he can resurrect those that have fallen from the sky, by lifting them back up.
Chief Dancer – An ancient kachina who represents the power of knowledge.
Chief Eototo – This Chief Kachina is the spiritual counterpart of the village chief is known as the “father” of all Kachinas. He knows all of the ceremonies and appears each year. Usually, he arrives with his companion or lieutenant, Aholi, and then, they begin the ceremony by blessing each village and marking it, so that the clouds of rain will come. At each blessing, Eototo is given prayer feathers, and in return, the kiva chief takes some of the corn sprout that he carries. These actions symbolize the gift of water to the villages and their crops. His appearance is characteristic of many of the older Kachinas due to its simplicity.
Chili Pepper – Known as Tsil, this kachina is a runner who chases people and when he catches them, puts red pepper powder or a whole pepper in their mouths. Usually, he is seen carrying yucca whips in one hand and a red pepper in the other. Red peppers can also be seen on the top of the his helmet.
Cloud – Known as Omowuh, cloud kachinas help to bring the rain.
Clown – Called Tsuku, they run races with the Wawarus Kachina and are the butt of much humor with the Piptuka. They are severely chastised by the Warrior Kachinas and the Owl Kachina for their misbehavior.
Clown Kaisale – This clown kachina has many colorful stripes on his body and his actions are similar to the Tsuku, the Hopi clown, but his acts are more outrageous. For example, he would eat a watermelon by putting his face in it. This act is a favorite among the audience. With this clown and others, the artist has an opportunity to put his own sense of humor and style into making the doll.
Clown Koshari – This clown kachina has many names, which give some information about his origin. The Koshari can be found in many different pueblos and is considered to be the father of Kachinas. These clowns are both sacred and profane to the people, their actions are both humiliating and funny. Carvers usually add their own styles into the making of the clown, depending on what they see as funny or humiliating.
Cold-Bringing Woman – Called Horo Mana or Yohozro Wuhti, this is originally a Tewa Kachina. Her purpose is to bring the cold or the whiteness of winter. She is mostly seen during Powamu Ceremony (or bean dance.) Horo carries a comb made of yucca, which she uses to mess up people’s hair when she appears with her grandson, Nuvakchina, who brings the cold winter winds. Horo is dressed mainly in white clothing to represent the white seen in winter.
Comanche – Known as Komantci or Turtumsi, this kachina is originally not of the Hopi, but was converted to a Hopi Kachina. It represents a neighboring tribe of the Hopi’, which is the Comanche Tribe. These Kachinas are usually seen as social dance figures when they participate in dances. This doll wears a goggle-eye mask, a row of feathers, a beard, body paint and carries a rattle, bow, and arrow.
Corn Dancer – Known as Kae he is probably the most popular of all the kachinas, he represents a prayer for the fruition and growth of corn. His costume is similar to the designs of the eastern pueblos with distinguishable horizontally crossed feathers on the crown. He appears in the Kiva Dances, Plaza Dances and Mixed Dances.
Corn Maiden – Corn woman or maiden is a figure in many stories. She is said to purify the women who grind the corn for ceremonies and other use.
Corn Planter – Known as Koroasta this is a Rio Grande Keresan Kachina where he is known as Akorosta. He appears during dances carrying a stick (used for planting) and seeds. He influences the growth of corn and is usually seen carrying corn kernels in his sack.
Cow – Known as Wakas this kachina is a recent addition into the Hopi beginning about the early 1900s. The cow kachina dances to bring about an increase in cattle and its name is derived from the Spanish word for cows – vacas. During the dance, villagers sometimes take a feather from him to put into their homes and corrals so that it could increase their stock of cattle.
Crazy Rattle – Known as Tuskiapaya, this kachina is a runner who can be seen carrying yucca sticks, which he uses to whip anyone who loses a race. To the winner, Crazy Rattle gives him piki bread as a reward. This kachina appears mainly during spring dances to run with the men of the villages.
Cricket – Known as Susopa, this kachina is a runner in some villages and a kiva dancer in others. It is said that he appears in the Kiva Dance at night and is one of the few kachinas that are known to dance empty-handed. The Cricket Kachina usually appears with a black bandolier, cricket antennas, and he wears a kilt made of plaid shoulder blanket.
Crow – Known as Angwusi, this kachina is usually seen teaming up with the Lizard and Owl kachinas during the Soyohim Ceremony. Their main function is to keep the clowns in line. He would join the other kachinas in chastising the actions of the clown until the clowns got too far. Then, he would punish them with the whips he carries. All animals are an important part of the Hopi culture, they are believed to provide guidance, health, and protection.
Crow Bride – Called Angwushahai-i, this Hopi kachina is dressed entirely in white and talks or sings during ceremonies.
Crow Mother – Known as Angwusnasomtaka, this is a figure of great dignity. The mother of the Hu, or Whipper Kachinas and is considered by many Hopi to also be the mother of all kachinas. She appears during the Powamu Dance on all three mesas, during the initiation ceremony for the children. As each child is brought in for the ceremony, the Crow Mother supervises the initiation in the kiva.. She supplies a whip to the Hu Kachinas who then, give each child four healthy strokes. The children are then rewarded with a prayer feather and a meal before leaving the kiva. Later in the same ceremony, she leads other kachinas into the village bearing in her arms a basket of corn kernels and bean sprouts to symbolizing the germination of seeds during winter. Kachina dolls of Crow Mother were plentiful several decades ago but are not as commonly made today.
Cumulus Cloud – Known as Tukwinong this kachina represents a prayer for heavy rain to nourish the fields. He always carries a jug of water and is always barefoot.
Cumulus Cloud Girl – Known as Tukwinong Mana this is the sister of the Cumulus Cloud Kachina. The sister and brother are rarely seen and appear only during the Hopi Salako. Besides helping her brother, her function is not really known. She is usually seen carrying a bowl full of meal, which is sometimes divided into directional Hopi colors.
Death Fly – Known as Mastop, these kachinas always arrive in pairs on the next to last day of the Soyal Ceremony. They represent a prayer of fertility for the Hopi women from their dead Hopi ancestors. In pairs, they would seek women from child to the very oldest, grab their shoulders from behind, and make a series of small hops indicating copulation. All Hopi women do not shy away from his embrace because it is a serious fertility rite.
Deer Dancer – Dances with the promise to increase more deer so that villagers will have plenty to eat in the future.
Deer Woman – Called Sowi-ing Mana, this kachina has many similarities with the Antelope Kachina Mana. The Deer Kachina Mana’s dance is a prayer for more rain and for more deer. When she appears, she is often accompanied by the Deer Kachina and is usually impersonated by a man. All animals are an important part of the Hopi culture, they are believed to provide guidance, health, and protection.
Disheveled – Known as Motsin, this kachina is a guard, but behaves more like a community leader. He enforces the attendance of the people to any community work parties. Carrying whatever tools he needs to enforce with (usually carries a rope in one hand and another tool in the other), he would take all the necessary actions needed to get his job done. He used to wear striped or torn out shirts, but now, carvers have made him in better clothing. Still, he usually appears black-faced, with warrior pahos on his head, and feathers all around his ears.
Dog Poko – This is a spirit that represents all domestic animals. It is a very old Kachina, and it is very important, as it is believed to be the first domesticated animal. His importance and functions are friendship, protection, and sheep herding. Sometimes the Dog is considered to be a hunter. He is normally dressed as a line dancer. The dog itself can vary in costume and appearance because there are so many different types of dogs.
Dragonfly – The Sivuftotovi or the Dragonfly Kachina is usually seen carrying a yucca whip in one hand and a jar of corn smut (dark in color). Other times he is seen carrying just the yucca whips. He is a runner or racer. Sivuftotovi would race his opponent and once he beat them he would either beat them with his yucca whip or smear them with the corn smut! This Kachina can be seen in many different variations depending on the village it came from!
Dress Kachina – The Kwasa-itaka or Dress Kachina is the Hopi version of the Zuni Koroasta. He is referred to as the Dress Kachina because he usually wears a woman’s dress without a belt. The lines around his face are meant to represent the colors of the rainbow. He has influence over the growth of the corn crop and distributes seeds to spectators during the ceremony.
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 doorkeeper 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 backward, 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 – 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 the end of the ceremony, descends to a shrine where he bows four times to the Sun and asks for a long life, good health, happiness, and good crops for his children.
Giant – Known as Chaveyo this threatening kachina appears at any time 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 a 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 guards. 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 the 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 holds 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 sometimes 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 – A Hopi clown kachina, Hehea’s mask 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 the 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 represented 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 phallic 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 the 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 hummingbird 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 – 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 kachina 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 humorous, 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 almost 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, similar 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 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 – 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 that 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 kachina who mimics 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 a 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 brings laughter to the audience.