16. Hopi Kachina Dancers
Shown here is a colorful rendition of a Hopi Kachina Dancer. Kachina dancers play an integrel part in Hopi life and culture.
The exact origin of the Kachinas is not completely known, but according to one version of Hopi belief, the Kachinas were beneficient spirit-beings who came with the Hopis from the underworld. The underworld is a concept common to all the Pueblo Indians. It is a place where the spirits or shades live: the newly born come from there and the dead return there.
Shown here is a Kachina Dancer representing the Eagle Spirit.
Another version of the Kachina story says that in an early period, the Kachinas danced for the Hopis, bringing them rain and all the many blessings of life. But eventually, the Hopis came to take the Kachinas for granted, losing all respect and reverence for them, so the Kachinas finally left and returned to the underworld. However, before they left, the Kachinas taught some of their ceremonies to a few faithful young men and showed them how to make the masks and costumes. When the other Hopi realized their loss, they remorsefully turned to the human substitute of Kachinas, and the ceremonies have continued since then.
Artist: Doug Quarles
Completed: January 2014