Kachina Dolls

A kachina is a spirit being in the religious beliefs of the Pueblo peoples, Native American cultures located in the south-western part of the United States.

The Hopi people were the first to make Kachina dolls as teaching tools to help young children learn about the Kachinas. During the planting season, men dress as Kachinas during special dances and ceremonies. At the end of these ceremonies, they give Kachina dolls to the children. Other tribes, including the Zuni and Pueblo peoples, carried on the tradition.

Clowns (Koshare) are not Katsinam, though they are an integral part of Pueblo society. During dances, these black-and-white-striped characters portray and punish unacceptable behavior and provide entertainment during breaks in the dancing while reinforcing community values.