Ösömuya: Night Dances Angk'wa

First Ma´lokatsina, Cloud-bringing Katsina, PM 45-25-10/28868
Second Ma´lokatsina, Cloud-bringing Katsina, PM 45-25-10/28867
Palhikmana, Maiden, PM 45-25-10/28803
Poliimana, Butterfly Maiden, PM 985-27-10/59050
Tatsiqtö, Mudhead, 981-21-10/58605
Hootsani, PM 45-25-10/28852
Honkatsina, Bear Katsina, PM 45-25-10/28859
Susukholi, Hooli Katsina, PM 45-25-10/28838
Tsa´kwayna, Warrior Katsina, PM 45-25-10/28889
Tsuku, PM 45-25-10/ 28890
Payakyamu, Gift of Mary T. Hemenway, L to R: PM 45-25-10/28888, 45-25-10/28873, 45-25-10/28887
Masawkatsina, PM 981-21-10/58858
Kooninkatsina, PM 45-25-10/28822

During Ösömuya, a cycle of Night Dances called Angk'wa (dances following Powamuya) repeat several Powamuya rituals. The head of the katsina clan inaugurates them.

As with other Night Dances, or Kiva Dances held in winter and early spring, katsinam dressed in ceremonial kilts and sashes climb into the kivas and give people samples of crops that will soon be planted. Their gifts ensure a plentiful harvest. Throughout Ösömuya, dances accompanied by drumming and singing are held until dawn in all the kivas.

Ma´lokatsina, Cloud-bringing Katsina

Ma´lokatsinam were very popular at the beginning of this century. On Second and Third Mesas, they performed during the Night Dances in March, and during dances held on the plazas from March through June. On First Mesa, they performed with Nimankatsinam. Today, Ma´lokatsinam are seen only occassionally performing prayers for rain and a bountiful harvest. They are easily identifiable by cloud symbols painted on their foreheads.

Palhikmana, Maiden

Palhikmana is not a katsina per se, but a female dancer who sometimes appears during the Night Dances as a Poliimana, or Butterfly Maiden, or as a Corn-grinding Maiden. Her main role is to perform a dance called Pavalhikwtu with a male partner, accompanied by songs provided by theKooyemsi, or Mudheadkatsinam. Women who participate in the dance initiation of the Marausociety, a women's society, are also called Palhikmana. Palhikmana is often confused with Sa´lakwmana; only their eyes are different.

Poliimana, Butterfly Maiden

Poliimana is a young maiden who wears a carved and painted tableta with butterfly and rain cloud designs and who belongs to both a family of Matrons and an Insect family. She appears during the Night Dances with her Butterfly Man (Poliitaqa) and other girls who look like butterflies.

Tatsiqtö, Mudhead

Tatsiqtö is the best known Kooyemsi, or Mudhead. Hopi Mudheads and their songs were originally Zuni. According to a Zuni legend, they are the result of incest between a brother and sister. Because of the stigma attached to their birth, they are not katsinam. They live in a separate location near the katsinam's home and help the katsinam announce events, translate requests, give directions, and present other information. Although they often entertain the crowd with their antics, they are not clowns, but are healers, messengers, warriors and magicians. Because they speak to and for the Ancient Ones, they can be very dangerous. In the knobs on their heads they carry seeds and particles of soil collected from human footprints. The soil gives them power over people. Made of mud, they symbolize the matrix where humans originated. When they leave for the spirit world at the end of the katsina season, they are given prayer sticks by the clowns and sprinkled with cornmeal by the kiva chiefs.


Hootsani came from the pueblos of the Rio Grande a long time ago. His name means "leader," or "headman." He is a messenger for rain, and brings gifts for the Hopi. He very seldom dances anymore.

Honkatsina, Bear Katsina

Honkatsina appears both during the Night Dances and dances on the plaza. He is a great help to the Hopi because he knows all the medicinal roots and herbs and how to administer them. This very powerful katsina is also a great warrior. 

Susukholi, Hooli Katsina

This katsina is another messenger to the rain gods. The black line across his face represents lightning. His name comes from the eagle feathers that protrude from his ears.

Tsa´kwayna, Warrior Katsina

Tsa'kwayna, a highly respected warrior, appears during the kiva dances in March. He brings cold weather and snow to replenish Hopi springs. He was brought to Sichmovi from Zuni, and was later adopted by other mesas.


There are several types of Tsutsk´t katsinam. This one is a clown from the villages of Musangnuvi and Supawlavi on Second Mesa.


Payakyamu, like other sacred clowns, are a combination of jester, priest and shaman who act out specific humorous scenes to demonstrate improper behavior. The fathers of all the katsinam, they inhabit both the underworld and the upperworld and serve as interpreters between the two worlds. They travel across rooftops as they enter Hopi villages. They are easily identified by their yellow faces and bodies and the red stripes on their faces. The stripes on their eyes symbolize the sun rising over the eastern horizon.


Masawkatsina is ruler of the underworld; keeper of the dead and an earth god; a giver and caretaker of life; owner of the land, fire and crops; and maker of all things. During the katsina ceremonies, he is primarily associated with the dead. He performs on the plaza during the daytime and in the late afternoon, and also during Night Dances in the kivas. He is the only katsina to remain in the fourth world after the Niman ceremony concludes. Masawkatsina dolls are rarely given to children and never to infants because of this katsina's great power which can be dangerous.


Kooninkatsinam are male katsinam who sing to other katsinam about rain. They impersonate the Havasupai, a tribe that lives in the Grand Canyon.