Hemis Mana

c. 1915
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General Description

For the Hopi, the word kachina (katsina) refers to three distinct but related entities: the invisible spirits who are an essential part of Hopi life, the personification of those spirits in ceremonial dances, and the carved and decorated dolls that the kachinas give to infants and women. Kachinas serve as intermediaries between the supernatural and human realms. They are generally bringers of clouds, rain, and all good things.

Kachinas (katsinam) present themselves in our world for the annual period falling just after the winter solstice and concluding after the summer solstice. For the remainder of the year, these ancestral spirits occupy an underworld accessed through the sipapu, or vertical entranceway.

This small kachina (katsina) represents Hemis Mana. Hemis Mana appears most often within the Hopi community in late summer for the Niman, or “going home,” ceremony, which marks completion of the kachina season. In addition to wearing traditional dress, mantle, and calf-high boots, the figure also displays two hair buns at the back of the head. The hair buns recall Hopi butterfly whorls worn by unmarried young women.

Adapted from

  • Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, Gallery text [Kachina (katsina)], 2018.
  • Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, Label text, 2018.