Peoples & Societies

Hopi Katsinas (Kachinas)

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.

Adapted from

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

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