Chuchkut or Clown Chuchkut or Non-Kachinas Masks

Chuchkut or Clown Kachinas provide comedy and entertainment for the villagers during the ceremonies as well as comedic examples of improper or undesired social behavior. Koyemsi the Mud Head Clown is the most popular of the Hopi clowns.

Clown may carry painted gourd rattles and small drums, others may carry food which they both eat and throw at villagers and spectators. Clown kachina impersonators may wisecrack and poke fun at everyone regardless of social standing without fear of reprisal.

Clowns can be multi-faceted, clowning in one situation or ceremony and serious or singing in the same or another ceremony. The Koshari clown, for instance, is considered both sacred and profane in Hopi mythology. He creates chaos in ceremonies by acting out and engaging in such improper behavior as making loud and boisterous conversation or pigging out with food, and disrupting important rituals.

The Guard or Tuwalakum Kachinas responsibility is to keep the clowns behavior in check. Frequently at the end of the ceremonies the Guard kachinas may beat the clowns and drench them with water as the clowns promise to behave better in the future.

Chuchkut or Clown and and Non-Kachina Masks

Kachina types may cross match into one or more group since many kachinas are multi-faceted with numerous responsbilities and roles.

  • Kwikwilyaqa Mocking Striped-nose Kachina

    The Kwikwilyaka or Mocking Kachina (also Striped Nose) is a clown Kachina who specializes in mimicry and imitation. He is responsible for bringing happiness through humor.

    He entertains the villagers by imitating and mimicking every word, sound or gesture of anyone who may interest him and won't stop until some other poor subject comes along. This kachina has stripes on his face, tube eyes and a tube mouth and "hair" made up of dry cedar bark.

    He competes for attention against the Ho'E kachina, another clown kachina who can become very mean-spirited by sometimes setting the Kwikwilyaka's "hair" on fire to shut him up.

  • Kaisale Cold Weather Clown Kachina

  • Hano Clown Paiyakyamu Koyaala

    The Koshari (Summer Clown) Kachina is also known as the Paiyakyamu, Koyala, Glutton, Ho-e or Wo-e, the Hano Clown and Tewa kachina.

    This is a very old kachina with a long history common among Native American pueblos located in New Mexico, as well as in the Arizona Hopi Mesas.

    Koshari is considered both sacred and profane in Hopi mythology. He creates chaos in ceremonies by acting out and engaging in such improper behavior as making loud and boisterous conversation or pigging out with food, and disrupting important rituals.

    The Koshari clown is very similar to the Kaisale, Cold Weather clown who prays for cold moisture to germinate and sprout crops for harvest.

  • Ha hai-i Wuhti Hahai-Wuhti or Kachina Mother

    hahai i wu uti1200The Hahai-I Wuhti or Grand Mother Kachina is known as the mother of all kachinas, mother of monsters and other kachinas, plus the mother of dogs. Other names for the Hahai-I Wuhti are Pour Water Woman and Mother Earth. Her real children are the Nata'aska (uncle of the family of ogre Katsinas) and monsters.

    Hahai-I Wuhti is believed to be Chief Eototo's wife and portrayed as a supporting influence to Eototo's kachina impersonation, however, she is also believed to be the dominating and demanding mother to the Nataska Kachinas.

    She makes her appearances in important ceremonies such as the Hopi Shalako, the Water Serpent, the Soyoko and the Powamu. Some ceremonies have her threatening villagers if she is not fed meat, and in other ceremonies she gives food (somiviki) to children and blesses them with water. Ogre kachinas appear at the Powamuya (bean dance) accompanying Soyok Wuhti to threaten children against misbehaving and enforce good behavior among the children. Whoever said motherhood would be easy?

  • Heheya Aumutaqa kachina

  • Masau'u Earth God

    masau u earth god1200Masau'u or Earth God Kachina represents the spirit of the earth god in control of the surface and the mysterious Underworld. His mask is skull-like with colored spots which represent clouds.

    He doesn't live in the mountains with the other kachinas and can come and go to the villages at any time of the year.

    Masau'u is responsible for the passage of the dead into the Underworld and monitoring the movements of other kachinas entering the Underworld or traveling to the surface world.

    Because he lives in the Underworld, which is in reverse of the surface world, the Masau'u dancer performs many actions in reverse or backwards. Sometimes two Masau'u will appear as a pair and perform bizarre acts by yelling, beating on structures with switches and dancing around fires.

  • Mastop Winter Solstice

    mastop winter solstice1200The Mastop or Death Fly kachina only appears on the third mesa, in pairs, the day before the end of the Soyal Ceremony. The Mastop represents a prayer to ensure fertility for humankind, so he is encouraged to tease girls and women as an important part of fertility rituals.

    He is a Soyal (Winter Solstice) Katsina and counterpart to Second Mesa's Sivaktsina kachina.

    The mask is black with white dots on each cheek. These dots represent the star constellations Pleiades (the Seven Sisters) on the right side and on the left side is the Big Dipper which contains Canis Major the Dog Star.

    Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, is the name of a quite visible and striking open cluster of stars in the Taurus constellation.