Kachinas (also spelled Katsina, the plural "katsinam") exist in Hopi and in Pueblo cosmology and religious practices.

In Hopi, the word Kachina (Katsina or Qatsina) means literally "life bringer", and can be anything that exists in the natural world or cosmos. A Kachina can be anything from an element, to a quality, to a natural phenomenon, to a concept.

There are more than 400 different Kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo culture.

Zuni kachinas

The Zuni believe that the Kachinas live in the Lake of the Dead, a mythical lake which is reached through Listening Spring Lake located at the junction of the Zuni River and the Little Colorado River.

Hopi kachinas

Within Hopi mythology, the Kachinas are said to live on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona. The most important Hopi Kachinas are called "wuya."

Among the Hopi, Kachina dolls are traditionally carved by the uncles and given to uninitiated girls at the Bean Dance (Spring Bean Planting Ceremony) and Home Dance Ceremony in the summer. The function of the dolls is to acquaint children with some of the many Kachinas.

In Hopi the word is often used to represent the spiritual beings themselves, the dolls, and the people who dress as Kachinas for ceremonial dances, which are understood to all embody aspects of the same belief system. Among other uses, the Kachinas represent historical events and things in nature, and are used to educate children in the ways of life.


*Ahöl Mana
*Cimon Mana
*Dawa (kachina)
*Hahai-i Wuhti
*Huruing Wuhti
*Ketowa Bisena
*Kokyang Wuhti
*Kwasai Taka
*Pachava Hú
*Shalako Taka
*Shalako Mana
*Tukwinong Mana


*Dockstader, Frederick J. "The Kachina & The White Man: A Study of The Influence of White Culture on The Hopi Kachina Cult." Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: Cranbook Institute of Science, 1954.
*Kennard, Edward A. & Edwin Earle. "Hopi Kachinas." New York: Museum of The American Indian, Hye Foundation, 1971.
*Sekaquaptewa, Helen. "Me & Mine: The Life Story of Helen Sekaquaptewa." Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1969.
*Stephen, Alexander M. "Hopi Journal." New York: Columbia University Press, 1936.
*Stewart, Tyrone. Dockstader, Frederick. Wright, Barton. "The Year of The Hopi: Paintings & Photographs by Joseph Mora, 1904-06." New York, Rizzoli International Publications, 1979.
*Talayesua, Don C. "Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian." New Haven, Connecticut: Institute of Human Relations/Yale University Press, 1942.
*Titiev, Mischa. "Old Oraibi: A Study of The Hopi Indians of the Third Mesa." Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum, 1944.
*Waters, Frank. "Masked Gods: Navajo & Pueblo Ceremonialism." Denver, Colorado: Sage Books, 1950.
*Waters, Frank. "The Book of The Hopi." New York, Viking Press, 1963.
*Wright, Barton. "Hopi Kachinas: The Complete Guide to Collecting Kachina Dolls." Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland Press, 1977.

Further Reading

*Glenn, Edna [http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/hopination/13/ "Kachinas,"] in "Hopi Nation: Essays on Indigenous Art, Culture, History, and Law," 2008.
*Schlegel, Alice, [http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/hopination/14/ "Hopi Social Structure as Related to "Tihu" Symbolism,"] in "Hopi Nation: Essays on Indigenous Art, Culture, History, and Law," 2008.
*Wright, Barton, [http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/hopination/12/ "Hopi Kachinas: A Life Force,"] in "Hopi Nation: Essays on Indigenous Art, Culture, History, and Law," 2008.

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