Native American Kachina Dolls, Information about Kachina
Left to right: Hemes Kachina Mana, Sun
Kachina, Sun Kachina, Yellow Corn Maiden.
From Voodoo Mama's private collection.
The Kana-a Kachinas of Sunset Crater
Kachinas (or katsinas) are actually
stylized religious icons, meticulously carved from cottonwood root and painted
to represent figures from Hopi mythology. Originally used to teach children
about their religion, they have become a popular Hopi art form. In Pueblo
religious practices, Kachina (also spelled Katsina) refers to three related
Supernatural entities or spirits
capable of influencing the natural world.
The men of the tribe dressed and
masked to represent the Kachinas in traditional dances/ceremonies. Their
beliefs are that such dancers actually become the spirits they represent for
the duration of the ceremony. Even though there are male and female
Kachinas, only men can represent them.
In Hopi and Zuni tribes, masked
dolls which represent Kachina spirits, made (by the Hopi) of cottonwood root
or (by the Zuni) of pine. They are presented to the women and children of
the tribe and are kept in the home as
The Kachina are ancestral spirits which
act as intermediaries between humans and the gods. The identity of each Kachina
is depicted by the specific shape of the mask, intricate use of color, and
elaborate ornamentation with feathers, leather, and fabric. Each Kachina is also
portrayed using distinct behavior, dance steps, gestures, and vocalizations.
kiva is home to a secret society which (generally) reveres a single Kachina.
Members of the kiva take on the identity of the Kachina spirit they revere. Upon
reaching puberty, young men in the Pueblo are inducted into a kiva, where they
learn the secrets associated with that Kachina. Women are not members of kivas,
although they are taught the mythology and religious practices in a more general
Different Pueblo cultures
adhere to their secrecy pledges to different degrees. The Hopi, for
example, have allowed their religious dances to become tourist
attractions and freely sell Kachina dolls and masks to non-Hopis.
The Zunis, on the other hand, have traditionally been much more
secretive about their religious practices.
Over 300 different Kachinas have been
identified across Pueblo cultures.
The word "Hopi" literally means the
"righteous people," or the "correct people." 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.
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
Types of Kachinas in Hopi Religion:
1. Supernatural Beings:
These Kachinas live in or around
Flagstaff, Arizona. According to Dorothy Washburn author of the article "Hopi
Kachina: Spirit of Life," these supernatural Kachinas unknowingly dispense
"spiritual and physical favors to deserving Hopi" (48).
2. Human Personification:
During Hopi ceremonies the men of the
tribe wear costumes and masks that closely resemble the Kachina that is being
honored. To the Hopi, these men serve as an "intermediaries between the
spiritual and natural worlds" (Jacka 61). In the eyes of the Hopi, the Kachina
dancers become the human personification of the spirits (Negri 15). The
ceremonies involving the Kachinas are extremely sacred. The Hopi believe that
these ceremonial acts serve many purposes, such as bringing good weather and
bountiful crops (Washburn 49). Participation in ritual ceremonies is vital to
the Kachina religion, as a prayer or an observance isn't enough (List 414). The
majority of the ceremonies are held in kivas which are underground ceremonial
There are three main ceremonies during
the year that involve Kachinas. From December to July the Hopi villages come to
life with different Kachina ceremonies. The first major ceremony is Soyal.
During this ceremony Kachinas emerge from the kivas slowly as though they have
been sleeping for a very long time. The dancers perform rites that are meant to
strengthen the Hopi tribe for the upcoming harvest.
The second major ceremony occurs in late
February. This ceremony is referred to as the Powamu, or the Bean Dance. The
significance of this ceremony is the hope for a successful germination of the
crops to be planted later in the spring. During this ceremony dancers distribute
bean sprouts that have been grown in heated kivas prior to the ceremony (Wright
The third ceremony occurs in late July
when the first maize of the season is ripe. This celebration is called the Home
Dance. Following this ceremony the Kachinas return to their winter home in the
mountains. This ceremony is a way for the Hopi to give thanks to the many
Kachinas who have assisted them with their crops. During this ceremony corn,
melons, and fruit are carried by the dancers as proof of a bountiful harvest
3. Dolls or Tihus:
From about one-year old until they are
ten, Hopi girls receive two dolls each year. Above is a picture of a Kachina
dancer and the doll form of the Kachina dancer. They are presented to them
during the Bean Dance and the Home Dance. The dolls are only given to the women
because the women of the tribe do not possess the same degree of contact with
the supernatural as the men of the tribe do. Therefore, the men who dance and
impersonate the different Kachinas carve small wooden replicas of themselves and
present them to infants and girls (Wright 6).
Another purpose of the dolls is to
familiarize the children with the different Kachina spirits. They also help to
"keep kids in line," as is represented in the Ogre Woman Kachina. This Kachina
goes door to door before the bean dance demanding food. She leaves the Hopi
girls a couple grains of corn and says that she will be back, and if she isn't
given food she will take the children. When she comes back she asks the children
if they have been bad. Sometimes she will begin to pull the children by their
feet to give them the idea that she is going to eat them. Before she can take
them away a relative appeases the Ogre by telling her that the child has learned
her lesson, and that it will never happen again. The moral of the story is that
children learn that they must work hard and do all they can to contribute to the
food supply (Negri 16).
Over the years other Indians and many
non-Indians have begun carving and selling Kachina carvings and dolls. Kachina
dolls produced by non-Hopi usually sell for less than authentic Hopi pieces.
Nonetheless the practice is looked down upon by the Hopi, and they continually
stress that there is no religious connection to the "fake" Kachina dolls and the
Hopi religion (Negri 17).
1. Jacka, Jerry. Art of the Hopi. Flagstaff, Az.
northland Press, 1998.
2. List, George. "Hopi Kachina Dance Songs: Concepts and
Context." Ethnomusicology 41.3 (1997): 413-419.
3. Negri, Sam. "Kachina Carving Artistry in Wood."
Arizona Highways May 1993:15-17.
4. Washburn, Dorothy. "Hopi Kachina: Spirit of Life."
American Indian Art magazine Summer 1980: 48-52.
5. Wright, Barton. Kachinas Flagstaff, Az. Northland
Crow Dancer - Hopi
Kachina from Voodoo Mama's private collection
ORIGINALLY, the home of the Crow Clan
was somewhere in the forest at the foot of the San Francisco Peaks. There were
seven families and they were a dark people. Now, often in the night they would
hear something moving about far away in the woods, making a strange noise and
they wondered who it was. The leader of the village wanted to find out about
this strange sound, for he knew that no animal made that kind of a sound, like a
deep growling (for in those days this person wore a bell made out of mountain
sheep horn, which rattled and could be heard a long distance).
So finally the Chief said he would send
out a few boys who were good runners, to spy around and see who this person
could be. And so one night he did send out seven of them into the forest. They
wandered around and finally, away in the distance, they heard the strange noise,
far up at the top of the peaks, coming down from point to point and they were
frightened. The noise came on, passed them and came down on the flat and
traveled on toward the village. The boys saw that it was someone, but they
feared that it might be a man of great power who would kill them and they did
not try to catch him.
So this man, or whoever it was, came
close to the village again and finally went away up the mountain. Now someone
said to the Chief that this person, whoever he was, that came from the peaks
must surely live up there, so that it would be well for him to hold the ceremony
of the "Paho making." 5
So he called the High Priest and had him make prayer offerings.
After thinking it over the Chief decided
to send one of his nephews with the offerings so that. if he found anyone on the
peaks and harm should come to the youth, as he was a relative, there would be no
So he called his nephew and gave him the
pahos and told him to go up the mountain and give the pahos to anyone that he
might find there. Now they got the youth ready next morning and painted him in
reddish clay and tied a prayer plume on his head. Every man who had made a
prayer offering went and placed it on a white buckskin and after they were all
delivered there, they wrapped them up nicely and gave them to the youth together
with a sack of sacred corn meal. Before the boy started, the Chief told him that
if there were supernatural beings up there, to tell them that the Chief had sent
them a message. He would like to ask if they were gods or other spirits and if
they were, he would like to communicate with them. If they were spirits, then
the people would worship them and accept their advice, because he knows himself,
who must have control of the weather.
So the youth started out, but before he
commenced to ascend he came upon the old Spider Woman. 7
The Spider Woman spoke to the youth, but he could not see her anywhere, so she
peeped a little more out of her hole and she said to him, "Come in."
But the youth looked down and said
sadly, "How can I, the hole is too small." So she said, "Stick in your foot and
wriggle it around a little." He did as she told him and the hole grew larger and
he went down into her pithouse.
The wise old Spider Woman said to the
youth, "My poor boy, I am sorry for you. You have been sent up there on a
difficult journey and I am afraid you are going to have a very hard time. You
will have to do the best you can. There are four dangerous places that you must
pass, guarded by 'terrible beings.' I will give you a charm which will make
these creatures harmless and you can pass in safety." She handed him the root of
a plant and told him how to use it. Whenever he came up one of these guards (it
might be a mountain lion, a bear, or a terrible snake) the Spider Woman charged
him to chew the magic root and spray it out upon the creature and he would
immediately become mild and gentle. Then the old woman gave him a little fluffy
feather and directed him how to use it, and told him which way to go.
So the youth started out and traveled
upward about three quarters of the way when he discerned a very faint trail and
it was difficult to follow. All at once he thought of the little feather that
the old Spider Woman had given him and how she had told him that it would go
before him and show the way. So the youth took out his feather and let it go and
it rose in the air and flew along before him, very slowly, so that he could
easily follow it.
No sooner had he started than he came to
the first guard. A great mountain lion lay across his way and when he saw the
boy he growled in his throat and crouched ready to spring upon him. The youth
was frightened but he remembered the old Spider Woman's words and he quickly
chewed the magic root and sprayed it out upon the angry lion and at once the
beast lay down and it seemed as if he had never noticed the boy.
Now all this time, the little feather
danced along ahead of the youth and presently they came to the second guard, a
giant grizzly bear. Of course you know, this animal is very fierce and the boy
was even more afraid than he had been of the mountain lion, but he quickly
chewed more of the magic medicine and sprayed it out over the bear and at once
he became quiet and the youth passed on.
Finally, with the feather going before
he reached the top of the mountains and there he found a kiva. This kiva was
guarded by two snakes, a great rattler, and a small rattler more deadly than the
first. When they saw him approaching they coiled ready to strike and the boy
stopped a long way off and felt very much discouraged and he forgot about his
magic medicine. But the little feather had gone on ahead and stopped over the
two snakes on top of the kiva. Now the snakes looked at the little feather and
then at the youth and they thought that the feather was the boy's spirit. Then
the youth remembered his charm and sprayed the snakes and they quieted down,
uncoiled and crawled away from the entrance to the kiva.
The feather entered the kiva and the
youth followed. One lone man was sitting by the fire-place and he did not notice
the youth. So the boy stood by the ladder and waited and presently the man saw
him and asked him to be seated. The youth had a pipe which he filled with
tobacco, lit it at the fire and passed it to the old man, who took four puffs
and all the tobacco was used up; but the odor of the tobacco filled the room.
Now he asked the youth where he had come from and who had sent him and the youth
said that his uncle, the Chief, had sent him to find out who it was that visited
the village and returned to the peaks each night.
The old man said, "I know who you mean,
he is my scout. He is away today, but he will soon come home. At any rate, I am
the head man here."
So the boy said, "If you are the head
man here, I have brought you the prayer offerings the Chief and High Priest and
the other head men have made for you."
Well, the old man said that he was very
glad that the offerings were made for him, because his people prized them very
highly and he took the bundle and opened it and spread the plaques with the
pahos on them out in front of him in the middle of the kiva. Then he said to the
youth, "Watch me closely and see what I do. Do you see this paho? It was made by
a man with a bad heart--I will cast it behind the ladder. But the maker of this
paho has a good heart--I will place this in front of the ladder. Now I will call
my people and pass these offerings around to them."
So he opened the north, west, south, and
east doors of the kiva and as he did this, many people came in and the youth saw
that this was a large under-ground dwelling with only one opening through the
kiva to the upper world. The youth was surprised to find that, as the head man
handed around the pahos, there were certain ones for certain people and that
there were just enough for every one.
Finally, the head man asked the youth
why his people down there had sent the offerings and what it was they wanted.
Well, the boy said that his people wanted to find out who it was that lived up
there and if they might be supernatural beings. And they answered him and said
that they were the Kachinas, and being Kachinas they had control of the weather,
like the rain and the storms.
Now the Kachinas said that they would
teach the youth the Kachina dances so that he could show his people down below
how to hold Kachina dances and make them a part of their religion.
So the youth was asked to stay for four
days and during those four days and four nights he was shown the different
dances and he was asked to study them so that he could paint the faces on the
ceremonial masks when he returned. So the old man dressed the youth in full
costume and they danced to the north, west, south, and east.
Then the youth, who had heard about the
Germ God (Muiaingwa ) now recognized the old man as the Germ God himself. Then
the Germ God told the youth that if he would stay with them for awhile he would
teach him how to make masks out of a white material and he told him that he must
also learn how to make the costumes and belts and how to prepare the paint. The
Germ God said that the youth must also learn their songs and then he said, "This
ceremony will surely bring rain if you do as we do up here."
Now after he had learned these dances
and memorized the painting and the songs and all that was necessary, he was sent
back to his home. Before he left the kiva, he was told that he and his relatives
would now be a Kachina Clan. Well, the youth said that they were already the
Crow Clan, but the head man said that they had a Crow Kachina and told the boy
to tell his uncle, the Chief, that they must make pahos to the Kachinas whenever
they held a dance.
When they had told him all this he was
sent back. While he was gone his people had been uneasy for four days, for they
knew the forest was full of wild animals. When he returned, they were glad.
The youth went to the kiva and the Chief
was waiting for him there. The Crier was sent out to call the people to come to
the kiva and when the men gathered in the kiva the youth told them how he had
been taught the songs and the painting of the masks and how the Kachinas had
control of the rain and wished the people to make prayer offerings for them
whenever they prayed for rain and held a Kachina dance.
And so the Crow and Kachina Clans brought these dances
to the Hopi.
The Hemis Kachina, or Jemez Kachina, is borrowed from other pueblos
because of special attributes they possess. The Hemis Kachina is the first
kachina to bring mature corn to the people, indicating that the corn crop is
assured. From Voodoo Mama's private collection.
THE KANA-A KACHINAS
OF SUNSET CRATER
At old Mishongnovi the people lived and
at the San Francisco Peaks the Kachinas were living. Over in the old town of
Mishongnovi there was a young maiden who would not give up to any young man. Her
parents were getting old and the father was not able to do as much work as he
used to, so he wished that his daughter would get married. But she had refused
all proposals from the young men in her town and also from all the towns around.
The old man, her father, was very much discouraged to think of all these young
men who had tried their chances with the maiden and had met with failure.
Sometime after this, at the San
Francisco Peaks, a young Kachina man heard about this. So he thought he would go
over to Mishongnovi and propose to the maiden. When evening came he started out
across the desert over to the Hopi towns, but being unknown in the town, he was
very much in doubt of what the outcome of his undertaking would be. When he did
get there some time early in the night, he found the maiden grinding corn up in
the second floor of her house. He went in and stood around for awhile and
finally sat down. Then he asked her to stop for a moment and listen, because he
would like to speak to her. But she would not stop and just kept on grinding.
But finally, after awhile, she did stop grinding.
"Why did you stop?" asked the youth.
"You asked me to stop," said the maiden. "Where are you
"I am from the west," he said, and at
this, she thought that he was from Shung-opovi. She saw that he was a very
handsome looking young man.
Now the parents, in the room below, had
noticed that their daughter had stopped her grinding and they wondered, for they
thought that something unusual must be happening up there, but they dared not go
up to see what or who it was who had come to see the maiden. Now the girl
thought that it was getting late, so she asked the young man to go on to bed and
as the boy was going out through the door, she asked him to come back and see
her again. She herself now came downstairs to bed and the parents asked her who
the young man was. She said she did not know him, though she had asked him to
come back again to see her.
Now the very next night the youth went
back to see the maiden again and found her grinding corn the same as usual. The
parents heard someone go up the ladder and walk over the roof to where their
daughter was grinding. She stopped her work and then they thought that it must
be the same young man who was there the night before. They hoped that the maiden
might be interested in this handsome youth and indeed he did interest the
maiden. So she asked him again, "Where is your home?" And he said as before,
"Over in the west," and again she thought that he meant that he lived in
Now the maiden liked this handsome youth
very much indeed. She said, "In four days I will go back with you. I will be
prepared by that time So come back upon that day and take me to your home."
When the fourth day came, she prepared
herself and had her hair done up in butterfly wings (poli-ia-na ) 76
and got ready some corn meal and some piki, which she must take with her on her
journey. When the boy came everything was ready and he took the tray of corn
meal while she carried her piki. They started out and when they got outside of
the village the youth said, "Wait awhile, I will see if we can travel easier and
faster than we could walk, for we have some distance to go."
He then reached into a little pouch
which he was carrying and pulled forth something and threw it from him,
westward, across the country, and the maiden saw it was a rainbow like a path
before them and she was very afraid. But she had already started out with him
and she could not turn back.
"Now let us get on," said the youth, and
when they stepped upon it, the rainbow drew itself up to the other end and when
they landed they found that they were close to the Little Colorado River. From
there again the youth threw his magic in the same direction. The rainbow
appeared and they mounted it again and this time they landed on the south side
of Palotsmo, Sunset Crater, or the home of the Kana-a Kachina. Here there was a
little cloud hiding itself among the pine trees and he was a Kana-a Kachina and
he spied the Kachina youth from the San Francisco Peaks taking a Hopi girl with
him. The maiden was weary and begged to take a rest and asked the youth to wait
a little where he was, for her.
She walked away some distance and
presently she heard a voice which seemed to come from under her feet. The voice
said, "Be careful, so you may not step on me." And the maiden stopped and looked
about her but could not see anyone. It was the Spider Woman who spoke to her,
and as the maiden moved to one side, she saw the light down in a little kiva
where the good Spider Grandmother lived. She asked the maiden to come in and
when she entered the Grandmother said to her in deep sympathy, "My dear child, I
have to tell you because you do not know, being only a child. Down in my heart I
sympathize with you very deeply. You are out on your first trip and it may be
your last trip, and you may not ever see your father and mother again. We cannot
hesitate very long. Now I am going with you and I am prepared to go. If we win
or lose I am willing to die with you. The youth is a Kachina from San Francisco
Peaks and when you reach his home the Kachina people will give you some very
difficult tasks to perform, and without my help you would surely fail. Quickly,
put me in your ear and let us be on our way." The little Spider Woman was so
invisible inside of the Hopi maiden's ear that she could not be detected by
anyone, even a Kachina youth.
When the maiden joined the boy again, he
threw the rainbow up towards the Peaks and they mounted upon it to take another
leap. Now all this time the Little Cloud who was hiding in the pines, knew what
was going on, for this little cloud was one of the Kana-a Kachinas who lived in
the Sunset Crater. This time the youth and the maiden landed right close to a
great kiva far up in the Peaks and they descended from the rainbow and walked up
The youth approached the opening and
calling in, he said, "Be courteous to this guest who is my companion, for I am
come and am not alone."
And a voice called out from the kiva,
"Come in, come right in."
They went in and there they found one
old lone man sitting by the fire in the fire-place. The old man begged the young
maiden to sit down, and getting up he spread out his own wildcat skin robe for
her to sit down upon. Now the whole kiva was very quiet and after she had seated
herself she noticed that the youth had disappeared and she did not know where he
The old man was slowly poking into the
fire trying to get more light and he called out saying, "Mother of the House and
you, young maiden, come forth. Some stranger has come and she has entered into
All this time the Spider Grandmother was
whispering her advice into the ear of the Hopi maiden and telling her what she
Now from the north side of the kiva a
handsome woman came forth. She seemed suspicious, although she acted with great
politeness. The grandmother of the Hopi maiden had already told her of the
character of this woman called Hahai-i Wu-uti.
Now the maidens of the house came forth
also, and they served her with food and when she was through they cleared it
By this time it was quite late in the
night, so the old man said, "It is time to go bed," and the handsome Kachina
woman, Hahai-i, then opened the door on the north side of the kiva and she asked
the maiden to enter and she told her that this was the room where she was to
sleep. Now this was the place where the North Wind lived, and as Hahai-i was
leaving the room, she said to the maiden, "It is quite cold in here but you will
have to do the best you can to get through the night."
Just as soon as the door was closed the
Grandmother hastily pulled out some turkey feathers from the bosom of her dress
and putting one down on the ground, she asked the girl to lie down on top of it.
Then she put one over her, one at her feet, then at her head, and one on either
side. And the maiden soon fell asleep, for she was very tired, and the good
little Grandmother's turkey feathers kept her warm. Now the wind was blowing
very hard all night and it hailed and it snowed and when she woke in the morning
she was under a pile of snow. Just as she became awake, Hahai-i opened the door
and peeked in, thinking that the maiden had frozen to death. But finding her
still alive, she was surprised and asked, "How did you rest ?"
"Very comfortably," said the maiden, and
she got up and went out into the kiva room. No sooner had she done this than she
was shown to the mata (the place for grinding corn) and instead of corn
Hahai-i came out with a basketful of icicles and put them into the mata
for the maiden to grind. The poor maiden felt very cold and unhappy to think she
had to grind these icicles and then she thought of her turkey feathers and she
took one in each hand with which she would hold
mata-ki (the mano) so that her hands would not get cold. The icicles were
very cold and hard to grind, but she had to go on; she had to grind and grind.
The icicles were cold and slick and she could not hold them between the two
rocks. Every once in a while Hahai-i would come and take a look to see if she
was getting the icicles melted, which she had intended the maiden to do.
Now the Spider Grandmother took a bit of
her magic root of an herb and put it in the girl's mouth and asked her to chew
it well and then spray it over the icicles. She did this, and no sooner had it
touched the icicles than they melted and turned into water in the mata. Now this
was the maiden's first test, and when Hahai-i came again and saw what the
bride-to-be had done, she was glad. The maiden continued to do this for four
days and she spent four nights in the cold room with the North Wind. At the end
of four days she finished her test and it was found that she had won over the
Kachinas, so she was married to the youth who had brought her there from
Mishongnovi. The Grandmother was glad to have been able to serve the Hopi maiden
and bring her successfully through her trials. She had put up many jars of water
for the Kachinas by grinding the icicles and snow.
Now the maiden's wedding robes and many
other presents were brought to her and she was ready to be sent home. Many
Kachinas were to go along with her to carry the presents to Mishongnovi, and the
bride and bridegroom were dressed in their wedding robes.
This day was rather a joyful day for the
bride for she thought of how wonderful the Spider Grandmother had been and how
she had helped her to win. And now she was going back home and taking her
husband along. And she was very thankful indeed to the little old woman.
On the way back to Mishongnovi at Sunset
Crater, the girl stopped just as she had done on the way over and walked away a
little to take a rest. But this time, she took her little Grandmother back to
her home, and when they got there they both cried for joy. For the last time the
girl thanked her again. The Little Cloud who detected the couple on their way up
to the San Francisco Peaks was again hiding in the pines and he saw everything
that took place.
Now during these four days the parents
of the maiden had been very much worried because they did not know where she had
gone. So in Mishongnovi this was rather an exciting afternoon for the people to
see this girl who had been missing so long coming home with the Kachinas and
bringing all kinds of presents. The Kachinas gave all their presents to the
villagers and then returned to their home.
From this time on the Hopi were very
prosperous for a number of years until finally the men of one kiva, and these
were the troublemakers of the village, plotted to see how they could break up
the happiness of the Kachina youth and the Hopi maiden and win her love away
from her husband. These wicked men made a costume exactly like that which the
Kachina man wore and so one day, one of these young men dressed up like him and
went to see the Kachina's wife while he was away. On his return he found that
his wife cared for someone else, but she herself did not know that it was
another man because of the costume and everything being exactly like her
husband. So the Kachina man, without making any further trouble, told his wife
that he had to go away to his home in the San Francisco Peaks and back to his
own people, and so he did. But as he was leaving, he took one of the longest
ears of corn from the stack in the house and carried it back with him to the San
Two years later a famine came upon the
Hopi people. They prayed and prayed for rain and held ceremonies of many kinds,
all of which were of no use. No result came from any of them.
Finally Kana-a Kachinas at Sunset
Crater, felt compassion for the people and took mercy upon them. Now they knew
that the Mishongnovi maiden had not been treated fairly and they knew of all the
hard tests that she had had to go through in the kiva of the San Francisco
Mountain Kachinas, and they did not think it right for these Kachina people to
bring this terrible calamity upon the whole people. The Kana-a Kachinas then
took much sweet corn and strung it up with yucca and many other good foodstuffs.
They came across the desert to the Hopi villages to make the people happy and to
relieve their hunger. Now when they got there they went dancing through the
streets and distributed their sweet corn and food to the people. But they asked
the people not to eat everything up that day which they had received and told
them that each family must leave an ear of corn in the corner of their empty
All the people were made happy and glad
so they asked these Kachinas not to go back to their Sunset Crater home, but to
live with them always there. But they, being supernatural beings, could not do
this, so of their own choice, they went to a little butte which stands by
Mishongnovi today, and they opened it up and went in. So that to his day the
little butte is called Kana-a Katchin-ki.
Waking up the next morning, to their
wonder, the people found that their empty rooms were full of corn and from then
on joy was with the people again. After this the Kana-a Kachina dance was
celebrated every year until 1902.
105:1 Reprinted from "Hopi Legends of the
Sunset Crater Region," M. N. A., Mus. Notes, Vol. 5, No. 4, Oct. 1932, p. 19