Kachina Properties and Their Meanings

Hopi Kachina Properties


Understanding Hopi Kachina Spirits

To understand kachina properties, we must first have a foundation of the endlessly creative and strongly spiritual Hopi people.

Hopi, or Hopitu-shinumu, means Peaceful People. They are expert craftspeople, and possessed uncommon agricultural skills. The Hopi connection with the land, cultivating, and harvesting is truly superior. Specifically, their ability to skillfully coax yielding corn from the desert sands is to be commended.

As artisans, they incorporated their Hopi symbols into an array of dazzlingly beautiful baskets and pottery. Further, their natural artistic abilities are found in the well-crafted kachina masks donned during ceremonies.

Kachina are supernatural beings who inhabit the realms of mist and magic. They are not worshipped by the Hopi as deities – rather, they are regarded as allies, and as connections to the forces of nature.

Kachina properties become clearer when we realize they are invoked with purpose to augment fertile crops, and abundant living conditions. As Hopi symbols, they are harbingers of life-giving rain, and serve the Hopi in their needs.

Listed below are some kachina properties, along with Hopi symbols and their meanings. These are provided with a goal for better understanding and respect to this highly resourceful and creative people.

Common Kachina Properties and Meaning of Kachina Hopi Symbols

Mother Crow Kachina
Crow Mother Kachina:
While kachinas are walking upon the earth during the winter and summer solstices, The Crow Mother makes her appearance with a basket of sprouts symbolizing the miracle of seed germination in the midst of winter. See also my totem page on the Raven (crow brother). See also: Mother Symbols.


Hemis Kachina
Hemis Kachina:
This kachina brings abundant, high-yielding crops of corn. This mask bears fertility symbols, and the wearer shakes a rattle to evoke the sound of rain.


Masau Kachina
Masau Kachina:
Masau reigns over all the earth and underworld. All must pay homage to this spirit – it is both respected and feared among the Hopi. Masua also controls the arrival of all the kachina spirits when they come into the world during winter and summer solstices.


Scorpion Kachina
Puchkofmoktaka Kachina:
Also known as the scorpion or horned runner, this is a comical spirit. Running races during ceremonial games, this spirit carries two sticks in hand, and is known to launch one of these at a competitor that is ahead in the race. See also Scorpion Totem Symbolism.


Sun Kachina properties
Tawa Kachina:
Tawa or sun kachina seen here is a symbol of life, growth, strength of spirit, and abundance. The likeness of this spirit is donned during the solstice ceremony to beckon the sun's return, and begin the growing season. See also Native American Sun Symbols.


I hope you enjoyed this page on Kachina Properties. Be sure to check out the links at the end of this page for more Native American symbol meanings. thanks for reading!



An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happing to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive it! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!



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