The Ceremonies

Hopi Calendar of the Seasons

In late November, a chief katsina, Soyalkatsina, begins the katsina season by walking along the trail into the village like a weary old man or someone who has had too much sleep, singing sacred songs in a low voice. He then opens the main kiva, signaling that it is time for the katsinam to come out. Their emergence reenacts the arrival of the Hopi into the "fourth world."

The structure of the kivas symbolizes the three other worlds that all beings, including the Hopi, passed through. Beneath the floor level is a small hole in the ground called sipaapuni which comes up from the first underworld of fire. The floor level represents the second world of air, the breath of life. A raised seating area is the third world, the world of water, the blood of life. A ladder goes up through the roof to the fourth world.

*The identities of the dolls in this exhibit are from the perspective of Second Mesa*

Speech given by the katsina father to the katsinam before their departure for the spirit world:

"In mid-summer, when the sun reaches its summer home, these katsinam, our friends, are to be put up and dance. From now on we people must not be mean to each other, so that we may have a good life and so that the people may have a good life with us."

"When you go home and get to your parents and sisters and the rest of your relatives who are waiting for you, tell them that they should not wait, but let them come at once and bring rain to our fields. We may have just a few crops in our fields, but when you bring the rain they will grow up and become strong. Then if you will bring some more rain on them we will have more corn, and more beans, and more watermelons, and all the rest of our crops. When harvest time comes we will have plenty of food for the whole winter. So now, this will be all. Now go back home happily, but do not forget us. Come to visit us as rain. This is all."