Kachina Dolls Meanings

About Kachina Dolls Meanings

Kachina dolls meanings are a very important part of the Hopi cultural traditions and history. They are the main way that stories are told, lessons given, and history of the people are passed down through the generations from clan to clan.

Animal and Plant Kachina Dolls Meanings (Popkot)

Animals, birds and plant kachina dolls meanings represent lessons taught to the Hopi tribe through nature. Each animal carries a different kind of lesson to teach the Hopi people how to shed their selfish human natures so that they are gentle and more in harmony with the Earth.

The Badger teaches the people what herbs to use for healing. The bear teaches about strength and protection. Plant kachina dolls meanings are centered on agriculture and yields of crop. Their special dances bring fertility, rain and good weather so that crops will flourish and feed the Hopi clans.

Runner Kachina Dolls Meanings (Wawash)

Runner kachina dolls meanings are associated with running during the tribe’s spring time festivals. They dance in groups moving from one end of the camp to the other in quickly energetic dashes. The winner of the race receives piki bread while the losers are beat with the branches of Yucca cactus leaves.

Chief Kachina Dolls Meanings (Mongwi Kachinum)

The chief kachina dolls meanings have a heightened importance among the other kachina dolls. They are an emblem that is sacredly adorned in a special place of spirituality that can only be reached by the most elite of Hopi elders. The chief is responsible for the guidance of the entire tribe who can only be honored by dances performed by more esteemed tribal members.

Borrowed Kachina Dolls Meanings

The borrowed kachina dolls meanings are given away from clan to clan like migrating gypsies to bestow their special powers as they are needed. They are passed along to endow rain dancing in times of droughts and teach new insight leaned from one tribe to another.

Whipper Kachina Dolls Meanings (Tungwup)

The whipper kachina dolls meanings are meant to teach discipline by representing provoked reprimands for the benefit of learning from past mistakes. The punishments are usually minor for the first misdeed, however, past lessons that were reprimanded previously will increase in intensity. The whipper kachinas use the Yucca cactus leaves to deliver punishments to keep the misguided youth in order during ceremonies.

Women Kachina Dolls Meanings (Momoyam)

Female kachina dolls meanings are actually depicted by male kachinas that are impersonating clothing and behavior of women in dances. The female kachinas take on the names of the male kachinas that are representing them. Female kachina dolls meanings generally reflect all mothers, sisters and wives of the Hopi.

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