The Niman Ceremony

The Niman Ceremony

Hopi KatsinamJuly is here, meaning Niman is nearly upon us! In accordance with the Hopi calendar, Niman takes place shortly after Summer Solstice as we move from Katsina season to Non-Katsina season. Also called “The Going Home of the Katsina,” Niman is a ceremony to say goodbye to the winter and spring Katsinam. During this beautiful last ceremony of the Katsina season, Katsinam bring the first harvest of the season to the villagers as well as presents for the children.
 
Niman is a time for Hopi families to reunite with family members who live away from the villages and who are returning to take part in the ceremonies. This 16-day festival includes feasting and a ceremonial performance by masked dancers representing the Katsinam who are now leaving the village to return to the spirit world in the San Francisco Peaks for the rest of the year. Dancers carry musical instruments, the first green cornstalks of the harvest, and sacred meal, which is sprinkled on the Katsinam as a thank you for the summer harvest to come.
 
Priests carry a water bowl and a ceremonial pipe. Smoke from the pipe symbolizes clouds, and water from the bowl is flung with a feather, symbolizing the rain that will nourish the crops.
 
During this final Katsina ceremony, women who have been married during the year are presented to the people of the Pueblo and given their robes by their husbands.
 
There are over 400 Katsinam in Hopi culture, representing the many different elements of the natural world. Katsina dolls are given to Hopi children to teach them about the specific deities and the lessons they teach during their visits to the village. Interested in purchasing a Katsina doll of your own, or learning more about Hopi culture? Visit Kachina House today!

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