Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kachina Dance

Hopi Kachina Dance, watercolor, 1921
The black-and-white figures are Kosharis, or Hopi clowns.
Philbrook Museum of Art

Disruption and reorganization followed the collapse of Chaco Canyon culture until eventually the people of the Southwest settled into the tribal affinities that we know today. Katsinas (or Kachinas) remain an important part of their spiritual lives. The Katsinas represent mostly benevolent spirits who, in somewhat human form, intercede between the people and the deities who bring rain and all the rest of life’s blessings. Katsinas are impersonated during seasonal celebrations where they perform dances and are fed sacred corn with the understanding that they will relay to the Gods the worthiness of the people to receive continued blessings.