Powamû Ceremony

Powamû Ceremony

February
The Hopi Indians believe that for six months of the year ancestral spirits called the katchinas leave their mountain homes and visit the tribe, bringing health to the people and rain for their crops. The Hopi who live at the Walpi Pueblo in northeastern Arizona celebrate the entry of the Sky Father (also known as the Sun God) into the pueblo in February by dramatizing the event in a ceremony known as Powamû. The Sky Father, represented by a man wearing a circular mask surrounded by feathers and horsehair with a curved beak in the middle, is led into the pueblo from the east at sunrise. There he visits the house and kiva (underground chamber used for religious and other ceremonies) of the chief, performing certain ceremonial rites and exchanging symbolic gifts.
A similar sequence of events is performed in July during the Niman Festival. At this time, the Sky Father is ushered out of the pueblo. In the intervening months, it is assumed that he remains in the village or nearby, making public appearances in masked dances from time to time.
CONTACTS:
Hopi Cultural Center
P.O. Box 67
Second Mesa, AZ 86043
928-734-2401; fax: 928-734-6651
www.hopiculturalcenter.com
SOURCES:
DictFolkMyth-1984, pp. 123, 566, 883
EncyNatAmerRel-2001, p. 229
EncyRel-1987, vol. 10, p. 520
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 72
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
Mentioned in ?