kachina


kachina
/keuh chee"neuh/, n.
1. any of various ancestral spirits deified by the Hopi Indians and impersonated in religious rituals by masked dancers.
2. a Hopi religious ritual at which such masked dancers perform.
3. a masked dancer impersonating such a spirit at a Hopi religious ritual.
4. See kachina doll.
Also, katcina, katchina.
[1885-90; < Hopi kacína < Keresan (Santa Ana) k'â·cina (or a cognate word)]

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Ancestral spirit of the Pueblo Indians.

There are more than 500 of these spirits, who act as intermediaries between humans and the gods. Each tribe has its own kachinas, which are believed to reside with a tribe for half of each year. They can be seen by the community if men properly perform a ritual while wearing kachina masks. The spirit depicted on the mask is thought to be actually present with the performer, temporarily transforming him. Kachinas are also represented by small wooden dolls, carved and decorated by the men of the tribe.

Hopi kachina of laqán, or squirrel spirit, c. 1950; in the Museum of the ...

By courtesy of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York City

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▪ North American Indian religion
 in traditional religions of the Pueblo Indians of North America, any of more than 500 divine and ancestral spirit beings who interact with humans. Each Pueblo culture has distinct forms and variations of kachinas.

      Kachinas are believed to reside with the tribe for half of each year. They will allow themselves to be seen by a community if its men properly perform a traditional ritual while wearing kachina masks and other regalia. The spirit-being depicted on the mask is thought to be actually present with or within the performer, temporarily transforming him.

      Kachinas are also depicted in small, heavily ornamented carved-wood dolls, which are traditionally made by the men of a tribe and presented to girls; boys receive bows and arrows. These wooden dolls are used to teach the identities of the kachinas and the symbolism of their regalia. The identity of the spirit is depicted not by the form of the doll's body, which is usually simple and flat, but primarily by the applied colour and elaborate feather, leather, and, occasionally, fabric ornamentation of its mask.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • kachina — ☆ kachina [kə chē′nə ] n. pl. kachinas or kachina [Hopi ḳacína < Keresan: cf. Santa Ana Keresan kâ· cina] 1. Pueblo Folklore a beneficent spirit, either a minor deity or the spirit of an ancestor 2. a) a male dancer impersonating such a spirit …   English World dictionary

  • Kachina — Muñecas kachina. Kachina, katchina, katcina, o katsina son un elemento de la religión y la cosmogonía de los indios pueblo de Occidente, entre los cuales se incluyen los Hopi, los Zuñi, los Tiwa (en la Reserva Hopi), los Acoma, y los Laguna. En… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Kachina — Kachinas (also spelled Katsina, the plural katsinam ) exist in Hopi and in Pueblo cosmology and religious practices.In Hopi, the word Kachina (Katsina or Qatsina) means literally life bringer , and can be anything that exists in the natural world …   Wikipedia

  • Kachina — Katchinas (Heart Museum, Phoenix) Die Kachina Figuren oder einfach Kachina (korrekt: „Katsina“ pl. „Katsinam“) sind Holzpuppen, die bei den Hopi, den Zuñi und anderen Pueblo Indianern im Südwesten von Nordamerika die Geister der Natur und der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • kachina — n. 1 an American Indian ancestral spirit. 2 (in full kachina dancer) a person who represents a kachina in ceremonial dances. Phrases and idioms: kachina doll a wooden doll representing a kachina. Etymology: Hopi, = supernatural …   Useful english dictionary

  • kachina — also katchina or katcina noun Etymology: Hopi qacína Date: 1888 1. one of the deified ancestral spirits believed among the Hopi and other Pueblo Indians to visit the pueblos at intervals 2. one of the elaborately masked kachina impersonators that …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Kachina — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Les Kachinas sont des esprits chez les amérindiens Hopis et Zuñis, représentés sous forme de poupées. Kachina est aussi un prénom rare, usité aux États… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • kachina — Espíritu ancestral de los indios pueblo. Existen más de 500 de estos espíritus, que obran de intermediarios entre los humanos y los dioses. Se cree que cada tribu tiene los suyos, los cuales residen con la tribu durante un semestre todos los años …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • kachina — noun a) A system or cult of (often secret) religious rituals and ceremonies involving masks and dances concerned with bringing rain and good crops and with community welfare and integration found in typically western Pueblo cultures in the North… …   Wiktionary

  • kachina —    Any supernatural being important in the religion of the Hopi and Zuni Indians of Arizona, USA, represented in painted figurines (kachina dolls) and in costumes of ritual impersonators wearing masks and costumes. Also spelled katsina …   Glossary of Art Terms


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