kachina

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kachina

(kəchē`nə), spirit of the invisible life forces of the PuebloPueblo,
name given by the Spanish to the sedentary Native Americans who lived in stone or adobe communal houses in what is now the SW United States. The term pueblo is also used for the villages occupied by the Pueblo.
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 of North America. The kachinas, or kachinam, are impersonated by elaborately costumed masked male members of the tribes who visit Pueblo villages the first half of the year. In a variety of ceremonies, they dance, sing, bring gifts to the children, and sometimes administer public scoldings. Although not worshiped, kachinas are greatly revered, and one of their main purposes is to bring rain for the spring crops. The term kachina also applies to cottonwood dolls made by the Hopi and Zuni that are exquisitely carved and dressed like the dancers. Originally intended to instruct the children about the hundreds of kachina spirits, the finer carvings have become collector's items. The name is also spelled katchina.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Kachina House, "Native American Hopi Carved Clown Katsina Doll Painting Easter Egg", http://www.kachinahouse.com/p-3151-native-american-hopi-carve d-clown-katsina-doll-painting-easter-egg.aspx; accessed January 8, 2012; also on eBay.
Another is listed as an "Antique Hopi Indian Cotton Wood Large Kachina Doll," and the seller says: "I have only a basic (almost none) knowledge of kachinas....
"First and foremost," we were told, "kachina dolls are agents of Hopi education."
(Many had become thoroughly Christianized, and a return to kachina worship was unthinkable.) Indians with Spanish names (which were common) had to change them.
He says, "I like wood." At nine, Cheston won a green ribbon at the Santa Fe Indian Market for his carving of a kachina. A kachina is a spirit that is part of the Hopi religion.
The workshop focuses on the Hopi kachina as a representation of the spirits in nature, especially as they relate to rainfall.
He teaches them always to Aaron first and only later to other young Hopi men, who learn the songs by heart and sing them in the guise of kachinas at dances.
The Seowtewas want to preserve the most important kachinas by painting them in detail, down to the last feather.
While most of Whispering Wind's readers are likely familiar with the dances of the Plains tribes given the proliferation of the Pan-Indian Powwow that many of us participate in today, I suspect that the Pueblo Feast Day Dances and the Hopi Kachina (Katsina) Dances of the American Southwest are perhaps less well understood.
These katsinam are impersonated in Hopi ceremonies by dancers called kachinas. From mid- December to mid-July, the kachinas perform ancient dances to bring the rain necessary for a good harvest.
The Hopi believe that the peaks are where the kachinas dwell, and both the Hopi and the Navajo consider the mountains the border of their world.
Blankets, beadwork, pottery, drums, kachinas, and fetishes were believed to embody the Indian cultures from which they came, and perhaps even to contain secret knowledge and moral significance.