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Tusak Kachinum - Plant Kachinas

Tusak Kachinum or Plant Kachinas are very important as they represent food, particularly maise or corn, a Hopi staple.

Because the Hopi lands are so dry and arid, all kachinas spirits pray for water and rain, however it is believed, since plants need water in order to exist, plant kachinas obviously carry their own water.

The Corn Dancers and Corn Kachinas are the two primary plant kachinas. Other plant kachinas exist such as the Navuk'china, Prickly Pear Cactus Kachina, for wild plants and Patung, Squash Kachina, for domestic crops but are not seen as frequently as the Corn variety.

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


Yung'a Hano Prickly Pear Fruit Cactus

yung-a-cactusYung'a Hano Prickly Pear Fruit Cactus is an old Kachina whose role in the ceremonies is that of an enforcer of rules, like a police officer. His most distinctive attribute is a cactus pad headdress which pays tribute to the cactus as an important food staple for the Hopi.

The Yung'a Cactus kachina appears in the Soyohim Mixed dances. He is usually accompanied by his sister the Yung'a Mana kachina. The Yung'a Mana kachina carries a basket filled with prickly pear pads and a pair of wooden tongs to handle the prickly pads.

Muzribi Bean Katsina

hishab-mormon-tea-maskMuzribi Bean kachina prays for plentiful bean crops. He appears in Powamu Bear dance and Mixed dances.

Hishab or Mormon Tea

Hishab or Mormon Tea Mormon Tea may represents the spirit of the Mormon people or represent the Ephedra, or Mormon Tea, plant.

Kokosori Fire God

Rugan A, Rasp, Tumoala or the Devil's Claw


Angak'chin', Angak'china, Takursh Mana

The Takursh Mana has several different names; Angak'chin', Angak'china, Ma-alo, Pawik'china and other indian names. English names are Long-Haired Kachina and Yellow Girl. This mana kachina is a popular kachina who appears everywhere from the Rio Grande to the Hopi villages on the mesas of Northern Arizona. As Rûgans they appear in groups and perform identical dances while producing rhythmic sounds by playing musical instruments such as resonating gourds and sticks.

This kachina welcomes the spring season with melodious songs and graceful dancing. The Ang-Ak-China arrive in groups accompanied by the Takursh Mana or Angak'chin' (Angaktsin Mana), his female counterpart, and together are responsible for bringing much needed rain to the arid Hopi nation.

The long hair combined with upright feathers on the top are said to represent rising clouds and falling rain.

Tsil Chili Pepper Runner

The Tsil, Chili Pepper Kachina is one of the Wawarus (runner or racer) kachinas. Tsil usually wears a bunch of hot chili peppers on his helmet, carries a yucca whip and challenges men and boys to foot races. If the people win they receive Piki bread or gifts and prizes, but if Tsil catches them he fills their mouths with chili peppers or chili powder and may throw mud at them.

Ushe Hano or Cholla Cactus Kachina

Ushe Hano or Cholla Cactus Kachina, called Hush-yei or Chaschin-yei by the Navajo. A clown who appears with the Koyemsi or Mudhead Kachinas at the Hano spring ceremonial dances. The Hano or Cholla Cactus kachina sack mask is green or white colored with red ears and a tube mouth.

He usually carries one or more loaves of Piki bread booby-trapped with a piece of prickly cholla cactus all tied to a stick with string. He offers bread to unsuspecting people who try to remove the bread without getting stuck by the prickly cactus thorns.