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Ogre kachinas appear before the Soyoko ceremony which occurs early in the Powamu (Bean Dance). This is a time where young children of the villages prepare for visits from terrifying ogres and their whipper kachina helpers. The Ogres travel in groups and go house to house lecturing unruly children. Ogres are strict disciplinarians who talk to the children, tell them what they are doing wrong while they stamp their feet, growl and make frightful sounds with their large clacking jaws. The orges demand that each child must prove his or her worthiness by performing such tasks as catching mice or grind corn. If the child fails he or she faces the gruesome prospect of being swallowed whole by the ogres or be carried off in the ogre's big basket.
These monster ogres carry red-stained saws, knives, bows and arrows which add realism to the terrifying experience. The purpose of the frightful ceremony is to instill into the children that throughout their lives they must contribute food for the benefit of themselves and the survival of the villages. The ceremony is considered a time of regeneration, when purity is renewed and a new life cycle begins.
Kachina types may cross match into one or more group since many kachinas are multi-faceted with numerous responsbilities and roles.
The Awatovi or Awatovi Soyok'Taka or Ogre Man is believed to have come from the Awatovi Ruins in Navajo County, Arizona, a pueblo destroyed in the late 1700's.
He appears during the main Powamu ceremony when children are initiated into their right-of-passage to adulthood. Children are purposely frightened by ghastly horror stories of demons, animal-man ogres, half-human witches and more before the initiation.
When the Soyok'Taka appears the children become petrified with fright. This beastly kachina performs with the Soyok' Wuhti or Ogre Woman. While she goes about threatening to eat naughty children, he stands by her side and stomps his feet and growls.
The So'yoko (Soyok' Wuhti) or Ogre Woman is believed to have come from the Awatovi Ruins in Navajo County, Arizona, a pueblo destroyed in the late 1700's. This kachina also belongs in the Chief or Mongwi Kachinum category.
She appears during the main Powamu ceremony when children are initiated into their right-of-passage to adulthood. Children are purposely frightened by ghastly horror stories of demons, animal-man ogres, half-human witches and more before the initiation.
When the Soyok' Wuhti appears the children become petrified with fright. This beastly kachina carries a blood-smeared saw, knife or cleaver in one hand, a scary crook in the other hand and threatens to eat naughty little children. She often reaches out with her crook to grab unwary villagers or children and whenever she catches children she places them in her basket and holds them for ransom.
She is fearsome in appearance, dressed in black with long straggly hair, buggy eyes and a large fanged mouth. She performs with Soyok'Taka or Ogre Man, another fearsome monster ogre, who stands by her side and stomps his feet and growls. Her cry is a shrill falsetto that sounds like "Soyoko-u-u-u"!