Hopi Indian Jewelry
Western Leather Jewelry
SW Glass Votives
About Native American Arts & Crafts
- In the world of the Hopi all things have both
a spiritual and physical form which they believe provides balance. Kachinas represent the
spiritual aspect of this natural balance. This belief extends to a wide and
varied range of Kachina spirits ranging from local game to even death itself.
- In the Kachina Society it is the male members
of the Hopi that dress in costumes and masks to portray the Kachina spirits. Through their
costumes and actions these men give shape and substance to the Kachina which they are
portraying. These men are believed to be invested by the specific Kachina portrayed.
- The kachina season begins in late December
with the Soyal as several kachinas wake and emerge from the kivas. (Kivas are underground
ceremonial rooms which are believed to provide entry from and to the Underworld) These
kachinas perform rites which improves the bonds and well being of the Hopi people and
their villages before returning to their kivas.
- As early or false spring approaches in
February the Powamu ceremony is held. This ceremony and its' kachinas ready the world for
a new season of planting and growth. Great numbers of kachinas emerge from the kivas
escorted by guards and warriors. Trailing them are the clowns with their constant
irreverent behavior. This ceremony also represents the time when children are initiated
into the kachina cult.
- The Niman ceremony, which is held in mid
summer represents the end of the kachina season. The kachinas dance in the plaza carrying
stalks of corn and bearing gifts for the children. This is a time of thanks and
appreciation for the harvest which the kachinas helped provide as well as a time to bid
them farewell. With a final ceremony the kachinas are sent off to their mountain homes to
await the renewed cycle of the coming year.
Kachina Dolls (Katsina) or Tihu
- While the Hopi men have a substantial degree
of "contact" with the Kachinas through their impersonation the Hope women do not
enjoy this same degree as contact. Perhaps in a way to satisify the women's needs, the men
carve an impersonation of the Kachina called a Tihu and give it to mothers and their
infants as well as females of all ages. The tihus (Kachina Dolls), which are believed to
embody the spirit of the Kachina they represent, are than taken home and hung from the
wall or perhaps a beam so as to ensure the preservation of what is considered a valued
Kachina & non Kachina Ceremonies
for the Hopi
- Pamuya -Kachina : These dances are held in January and are also called the Kiva Dances.
- Powamu - Kachina: Held in February these dances are called the Bean Dances.
- Anktioni - Kachina: Repeat dances held in March.
- Soyohim - Kachina: Plaza dances held in April-May
- Niman - Kachina: Home dances held in July.
- Snake or Flute Dances - Non-Kachina: Usually held in August.
- Marau - Non-Kachina: Womens Society held in Sepember.r
- Oaqole -
Non-Kachina: Womens Society held in October.
- Wuwuchim - Non-Kachina: Tribal initiation held in November.
- Soyala - Kachina: Held in December .