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Pueblo Indian Kachinas

 

 

The Kachinas are spirit beings in Pueblo cosmology and religion.  They appeared in the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna cultures over two hundred years before the arrival of the Spaniards, spreading in later times to the Rio Grande Pueblos from contact with the Laguna.  The Zuni believe that Kachinas live in the Lake of the Dead, which is reached through Listening Spring Lake located at the junction of the Zuni River and the Little Coloarado River.  Within Hopi mythology, the Kachinas are said to live on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff.  The concept of Kachina, which is represented best in Hopi culture, includes dancers (masked members impersonating Kachinas) and the dolls, themselves, representing the Kachinas which are given to children to teach them respect for such beings.  As indicated in my collection, Kachinas can represent anything existing in the natural or supernatural world.  There are more than four hundred kachinas listed by ethnologists for Pueblo culture, the greatest number belonging to the Hopi people.  The actual religious pantheon of Kachinas varies with each Pueblo community, including Kachinas for the sun, stars, thunderstorms, wind, corn, insects, and many other aspects of Pueblo culture.  The Pueblo understand Kachinas as having human relationships, such as in uncles, sisters, and grandmothers.  They may even marry and have children.  Although they are not worshipped, each Kachina is considered a powerful being who, if respected and venerated properly, will use his or her powers to influence human beings to do good, bring rainfall, heal the sick, increase fertility, and, as in the case the Roadrunner Kachina, guard against evil forces.  Among the Hopi, Kachina dolls are traditionally carved by the uncles and given to uninitiated girls at the Bean Dance (Spring Bean Planting Ceremony) and Home Dance Ceremony in the summer.  To view a Kachina, click on to its corresponding number.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


    1. Cloud Dancer   2. Mudhead   3. Eagle Dancer   4. Roadrunner   5. Butterfly Maiden   6. Ogre   7. Stripes (Koshari)   8. Buffalo Dancer

 







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