Who were the kachinas and Why were the kachinas important in Pueblo culture?

Kachinas were spirit beings revered by the Pueblo Indians. There were several hundred kachinas, each with a different name and appearance.

They were thought to have the power to make rain. Because rain was needed to grow the crops on which the Pueblo depended, the kachinas had control over their very lives.

To ask the kachinas for help, the Pueblo held ceremonies, during which men dressed up and danced in kachina masks. Decorated with feathers and painted with designs representing rain, lightning, and corn, these masks were thought to be very powerful.

The Pueblo believed that when a person placed one over his head, he was transformed into the kachina the mask represented.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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