Powamuya: Bean Dance

Wupamo'katsina, Long Mouth Katsina, PM 45-25-10/28901
Ewtoto, 45-25-10/28847
Sootukwnang, PM 45-25-10/28879
Sikyaqöqlö, PM 45-25-10/28860
Nata´aska, Big Mouth Ogre, PM 45-25-10/28869
Kwikwilyaqa, Mocking Katsina, Striped-nose Katsina, PM 45-25-10/28862

During the Powamuya ceremony in February, the katsinam arrive in force to help the Hopi prepare for the next growing season and to initiate children into the Katsina Society, thus preparing them for growth as well. The most important katsina ceremony is a series of rituals that promotes fertility, germination, and early growth of seeds. It also initiates children between six- and ten-years-old into the Powamuya Society. The children are then allowed to participate in katsina performances.

One important event during Powamuya is the planting of beans. Within the kiva, men under the supervision of Powamuya officers plant fifty to a hundred beans in a bucket filled with earth. A fire is kept going day and night to help the beans grow. Patsavu Hu´katsinam regularly inspect the plants. The planting and growth of the beans inside the warm kiva is seen as a good omen for the success of the coming harvest.

On the sixteenth day, the katsinam give away mature bean sprouts in a public ceremony followed by a procession of many katsinam who dance and give away dolls, dancing wands, decorative plaques, bows and arrows, lightning sticks, rattles, and moccasins. Among the dancers are Ogre katsinam who frighten children into behaving properly.

Wupamo'katsina, Long Mouth Katsina

Wupamo´katsina is a chief katsina or Mongkatsinawith leadership duties and responsibilities. A guard who supervises the Whipper katsinam, he is also in charge of cleaning the streets and kivas before ceremonies. During Powamuya, he keeps people off the procession route. He moves very quickly, using yucca whips to correct the behavior of the Mudhead katsinam.


Ewtoto, the chief of all katsinam, is a katsina spiritual father and an important member of the katsina priesthood. Because he controls the seasons, he appears several times during Powamuya, and again during Niman. During Powamuya, he helps to bring rain to the villages by drawing cloud symbols on the ground with corn flour.


Soo´tukwnang represents clouds and appears with the Sa´lako´vituy, two Sa´lako who play music for the Sa´lako dance. This particular Soo´tukwnang is a male figure who appears at Powamuya and during the Mixed Dance in which a variety of katsinam dance in long lines in the plaza. 


Sikyaqöqlö is an artist and farmer who makes colorful gifts and gives them to children during the Bean Dance. He is also a storyteller.

Nata´aska, Big Mouth Ogre

Nata´aska is an uncle in the ogre family and a chief or Mongkatsina. These katsinam always appear during the procession of ogres at the beginning of Powamuya. They stand in pairs at the back of the crowd, growling and dragging their saws on the ground, stamping the ground furiously, and impatiently waiting to be fed. As they dance and sing, they tell children they will eat them and chew their bones and no one will see them again.

Kwikwilyaqa, Mocking Katsina, Striped-nose Katsina

Kwikwilyaqa gets his name from the stripes on his nose. A clown and mimic, he makes the crowd laugh by imitating people and katsinam who catch his eye during ceremonies. He appears twice during the Powamuya procession and also during the Mixed Dance.

Ahöla (no image)

Hehey´akatsina, Uncle Katsina (no image)

Hoote, Rain God (no image)

Angwusnasomtaqa, Crow Mother Katsina (no image)

So´yokmana, Ogre Maiden Katsina (no image)

Hee´e´e, Guard Katsina (no image)