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Kachinas

A spirit being in western Puebloan religious beliefs, Kachinas are a central theme within a number of cultures including the Hopi and the Tewa Village on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona; and the Zuni, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos in New Mexico. Also called katchina, katcina, or katsina, these spirits, or personifications of things in the natural world, may represent anything from rain to crops, to various animals, stars, beloved ancestors, and even other Indian tribes. The word kachina derives from Hopi term kachi, which means "spirit father, life, or spirit."

There are more than 400 different kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo culture which vary from one pueblo community to another. Kachinas are expressed in three different ways -- the spiritual or supernatural deities; the masked dancers who represent kachinas at religious ceremonies; and kachina dolls or carvings.

Ahulani and Two Soyal Mana Kachinas

Ahulani and Two Soyal Mana Kachinas

Basket Dancers, about 1935

Basket Dancers, about 1935

Buffalo Dance, about 1925

Buffalo Dance, about 1925

Buffalo Dancer

Buffalo Dancer

Buffalo Dancers

Buffalo Dancers

Buffalo Mother, about 1920

Buffalo Mother, about 1920

Buffalo Mother, about 1935

Buffalo Mother, about 1935

Chakwaina Kachina

Chakwaina Kachina

Comanche Dance, 1925

Comanche Dance, 1925

Comanche Kachina

Comanche Kachina

Deer Dancers, about 1935

Deer Dancers, about 1935

Dog Dancers, about 1920

Dog Dancers, about 1920

Eagle Dancers, about 1920

EagleDancersAwa Tsirehabt1920

Eagle Dancers, about 1927

Eagle Dancers, about 1927

Fish Kachina

Fish Kachina

Flute Dancer, about 1920

Flute Dancer, about 1920

Hawuqti Kachina

Hawuqti Kachina

Hehea Kachina

Hehea Kachina

Hehea Mana Kachina

Hehea Mana Kachina

Hehee Kachina

Hehee Kachina