Mudhead Katsinam get their name from their characteristically round and mud-covered masks. They are also known by their Zuni name, Koyemsi.
According to ancient Zuni lore, the Mudhead is neither a man nor a Katsina. Owing to disgraceful events of inter-clan relationships, the Mudhead was brought into being to dissuade the Zuni from such relationships.
According to Hopi lore, the Mudhead was the first being to emerge into this, the Fourth World of the Hopi. The Mudhead climbed up the inside of a reed and when he entered this world, covered in mud, he found himself at the base of the Grand Canyon. The hole he emerged from is called the sipapu and every kiva has a small sipapu in the floor to remind the Hopi from whence they came.
Mudheads have a unique role within ceremonies. Most people think of the Mudhead as sort of a court jester; however, their irony leads them to be entertaining while being serious. Mudhead Katsinam perform in a multitude of roles within a ceremony. They are an integral part of all dances and perform roles from drumming to interacting with spectators. They are responsible for distributing prizes during games and filling in other roles as needed. They appear in most dances with other Katsinam as well as dancing solo in the Night Dance.
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