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Copy of Kachinas of the Southwest

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Heather Butler

on 23 February 2016

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Transcript of Copy of Kachinas of the Southwest

Kachinas of the Southwest
The Kachina Religion is complex and deals with many spiritual factors.
Part of the Pueblo religion and is practised by numerous tribes and in the Southwest.
Origin Stories:
That the Kachinas are gods and they once walked with with the Hopi on Earth until the gods were all killed by Mexicans. The Hopi believe that all the Kachinas then went to the underworld and the ceremonial paraphanalia was split up amongst the Hopi.
The Kachinas lived on earth with men, but felt that they were not appreciated enough and that nobody paid attention to them so they made themselves invisible to the Hopi
Over 400 Kachinas were thought to exist.
Their spirit is remembered through the dolls, masked dancers and various dances performed by the Hopi.
During ceremonies and dances, men wear Kachina masks that allowed them to impersonate the gods.
The Kachina men used these masks and dances to show children that the Kachina existed, because although the men saw them as friends, children felt that the Kachinas were gods.
The dancers would give dolls away to the children, these dolls were not toys but a gift from a god and were taken very seriously.
The dancers masks were intricate and deeply treasured.
Kachinas in the Pueblo Religion
The dancers wore Kachina masks which allowed them to impersonate the spirit associated with that mask.
Any man was allowed to become a Kachina dancer.
The men knew that they were only using the mask to impersonate the Kachina spirit, but the children watching believed that the gods had come to life and were dancing for them.
Dancers gave out dolls to the children.
These dolls were hand-carved by the men and represented the god that they were impersonating.
The dancers usually danced in a circle, keeping their feet close to the ground.
There would be chanting, drumming and singing as the dance commenced.
"The central theme of the Kachina Cult is the presence of life in all objects that fill the universe. Everything has an essence or a life force, and humans must interact with these or fail to survive."
After contact, the Kachina dance became very popular amongst the white.
They would want the various villages who practiced Kachina to dance for them.
The dance became so popular that the dancers were invited to dance for Theodore Roosevelt.
Kachina Dancers
Dolls were not the most important part of the Kachina ceremonies but they have become very popular with white people today.
The dolls were carved out of wood and painted to represent a certain god.
Dolls were given to children at ceremonial dances.
They were then hung from the beams of their houses to protect them and bring good fortune.
These dolls took a lot of time and skill to make.
Today, these dolls can go from anywhere from $1000 to $10,000
Kachina Dolls
"PALHIK MANA the BUTTERFLY MAIDEN. A very interesting carving from the 1930-40 period. Height 15 inches. Soft paint with a crate wood tablita. Price $5500.00"
"POLIK MANA. An excellent and large example of the iconic Butterfly dancer. Circa 1940. Well carved with a thick one piece tablita. Height 18 1/4 inches. $6500.00"
"ZUNI KACHINA; Upo'yona, Pautiwas's Son. Appears in the Rain Maker's Dance. Usually Zuni dolls are very specific and this one is. It is exactly as it appears. Before 1950, height 9 1/4 inches. Price $1450.00"
"HEHEYA. This Hopi Kachina appears in pairs with Soyok at Powamu. Older type with green mask and large spool feet. Circa 1910. Height 9 1/2 inches. Price $3500.00"

Lived in the Southwest region of North America
Most of the land is desert covered with cactus
Very few trees and less access to water
Summers were very hot & winters were cold
Famous Tribes of Southwest Native Americans: Hopi, Pueblo, Zuni, Yuam, Apache and Navajo.
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