The Night Dances of March

The Night Dances of March

Four days following the conclusion of Powamuya, the Fest Parade and the Puppet Doll drama begin. At this parade, all the Katsinam enter the village and perform their specific dances. Hopi people celebrate the beginning of the Katsina season with the Night Dances of March, also called the Angkwa, which means “appearance afterwards.” These dances are held within the kivas due to the cold evening temperatures. The members of each kiva sponsor a dance and ask for it to be repeated in every kiva. These dances are the Night Dances, or the Repeat Dances. Each dance lasts approximately 20 minutes and the dancers make rounds between all the kivas on the mesa. The ceremony is timed so when one group leaves another one enters the kiva. This spectacle lasts the entire evening, with all the dance groups changing venues throughout. These dances involve a variety of figures including the Mudhead, Badger, 3-Horn, Deer, Lizard, Owl, Maalo, Hillili and many others.

Hopi Mudhead Katsina DollDuring the Night Dances, Katsinam appear on the roofs of the kivas and are invited inside to give families gifts of food that represent the crops to be planted in the upcoming months. These gifts ensure a bountiful harvest, and the Katsinam continue from kiva to kiva, sharing their blessings throughout the night. Drumming and singing often continues until dawn as groups of Katsinam travel the villages with their gifts.

Mudhead Katsina

During the Night Dances only a single Mudhead (Koyemsi) may appear as a drummer for a group.

Malo Katsina

An old Katsina that appears during the Night Dances of March, Malo Katsina offers prayers for the rain that will bring an abundant harvest.

Hopi Hummingbird Katsina DollHummingbird Katsina

Tootsa, the Hummingbird Katsina, often participates as a side dancer in the Night Dances, singing a prayer for rain and moisture to nourish the crops in the months to come. Adorned in bright colors and holding a flower, the Hummingbird Katsina petitions to the gods to bring rain to the Hopi people.

Kachina House carries a wide variety of Native American arts and crafts, including a large assortment of Hopi Katsina dolls. Whether you are looking for a particular figure or are just interested in learning more about our dolls, please contact us at 866-587-0547.

Sources: https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/2041, http://kachina.us/cult.html, http://www.nairiok.org/KatsinaIndex2.html

 

 

 

 

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