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Kachina Types - Page 2
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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. 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 escape.

 

Ahulani and two Soyal Mana kachinasAhulani - 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.

 

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 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.

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 Dance wear 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 KachinaChakwaina - Also called Tcakwaina, this kachina appears in Hopi, 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 its crops. His appearance is characteristic of many of the older Kachinas due to its simplicity.

 

Chili Pepper - Known as Tsil, this kahina 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 KachinaComanche - 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 any one 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 between 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.


Native America: Voices From the Land DVDDisheveled - Known as Motsin, this kchina 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 which 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.

 

 

 

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