Kachina Doll Research Paper

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The religious and cultural significance of the Kachina dolls Kachina Dolls hold a great significance for the Hopi peoples. They represent their heroes, sacred religious figures and spirits that help teach them and protect them from harm. They are also known as the Katsinam, which are part of the cloud people. The Katsinam are like intermediaries that pass messages onto god and are represented through Kachina dolls—a modified vision of what the Hopi people believe their supernatural messengers look like (Teiwes 1991:6; Colton 1959:2). The Katsinam are said to join the Hopi people for at least six months at a time. They are accepted into the tribes through ceremonies in which men—always men, not women—dress up as the Kachinas. The dress up…show more content…
The Kivas are a religious place that is underground (Teiwes 1991:4). And the Kachina dolls that are carved in the Kivas are completely made out of wood and their mask, kilt and sash are all painted on. That is one way to tell the traditional Hopi Kachina doll apart from others—some like the Zuni have cloth accessories. Another way is also by the low relief frame that they are carved in; with their arms and legs close to their bodies. During the time that the Kachinas stay with the Hopi, it is that the Hopi people pray to the Katsinam for rain and good crops. Although most Kachinas are regarded as good, there are also bad ones ( ).There are many traditional Kachinas but there are also new ones introduced every once in a while. When new Kachinas are introduced, they are tested by having performances. Dockstader says that if during the first few performances of the new Kachinas there is good weather, rain and good crops, then they become part of the Hopi people, But if the opposite is true then they are shelved and rarely used again (1985:13). This is because there is no purpose for them if they are bad luck. Also, this may be in part because they believe that if the Kachina

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