Meaning of kachina in English:


Pronunciation /kəˈtʃiːnə/

nounplural noun kachinas

(also katsina)
  • 1A deified ancestral spirit in the mythology of the Pueblo people.

    ‘It's not like me telling people; it's the kachina spirits.’
    • ‘This style is also worn by the Longhair kachina, one of the important Hopi spirits who live in the Peaks and bring rain to Hopiland.’
    • ‘Among the Hopi, the kachinas are said to live in the San Francisco peaks near Flagstaff.’
    • ‘Next is a sumptuously textured, very abstract picture of three katsinas whose blurry appearance represents the intermediary between the spiritual and physical world.’
    • ‘The manifestations of spirits, the katsinas, are of supreme importance to the Hopi.’
    1. 1.1A person who represents a kachina in ceremonial dances.
      ‘The ripe corn is eaten; corn pollen and meal are used in kiva ceremonies and at kachina dances.’
      • ‘Some ceremonials, such as the Zuni Shalakos, feature kachinas in ten-foot high costumes.’
      • ‘Warrior katsinas arrive to punish the clowns for licentious behavior and teach them good Hopi behavior: modest and quiet in conduct, careful and decorous in speech, abstemious and sharing about food, and unselfish about other things.’
      • ‘As with the turquoise mortgage of the katsina clowns, the idea of reciprocity is central.’
    2. 1.2A small carved figure representing a kachina.
      ‘Commercial art includes the making of kachina dolls, silver jewelry, woven baskets, and pottery.’
      • ‘Taught by his uncle, Leo has been carving katsinas for more than 20 years, starting at the age of 15.’
      • ‘As the rugs, baskets, ceramics, katsinas, etc., etc., etc. quickly sell, Opice must get the sales information into his database.’
      • ‘Silver jewelry, kachinas, and painted pots authenticate the experience by providing a connection to the history, lifeways, and people of the area.’
      • ‘Authentic katsina dolls are more than art - they're tangible connections to an ancient culture.’


From Hopi kacina ‘supernatural’, of Keres origin.