The KAchinas were photographed by Joe Cabaza. This one is his favorite. The KAchinas are John Isaac Antiques, 323 Romero St. Albuquerque, NM 87104-1400, 505-842-6656 KAchinas are the Spirit messengers of the Hopi Pueblo People and the spirit essence of everything. The greatest gift they bring is happiness, good health, and a long life. The Warrior Woman shown here, represents a warrior spirit. This KAchina can be a man dressed in women's clothing or a woman using men's equipment depending on the mesa where one hears the story. Despite the differences in the folktales, she is a very potent warrior. Because she is so potent, KAchina guards are often called upon to protect certain ceremonies from her dangerous presence. The background was made from a photo of light reflecting on pavement.
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. 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.
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. BTW, the background 4 this KAchina was shot at Kunming Lake in China.
The Corn Dancer (shown here) is one of the most popular KAchinas for both dance and song, as well as function. He is a prayer for the fulfillment of a good corn harvest, the staple food of the Hopi. He and the other Plant KAchinas literally bring their own water to the dances because without water there would be no corn or plants, and without corn or plants there would be no Hopi.
White Bear Katsina is Qotsa'honaw Katsina representing leadership. Most of the Hopi Village leadership comes from the Bear clan, who are responsible for much of the Hopi Religious functions.
White Bear appears during the Katsina night dances in March and also during the day Katsina dances.
He can be part of a group of Bear Katsinam or can appear singly with the Mixed Katsinam. They are very powerful spirit beings. The Bear Clan Kachinas are very powerful and considered to be great warriors. They are also healers, capable of curing bad illnesses.