Who were the Koshare and Why did the Koshare act like clowns during Pueblo religious ceremonies?

The Koshare were a group of men who acted like clowns during Pueblo religious ceremonies.

With their legs and bodies painted in broad black-and-white stripes, they shouted out jokes, teased onlookers, made fun of sacred rituals, and generally did everything the Pueblo people would normally frown upon.

The Koshare worked hard to entertain their audience, and crowds were free to laugh at them, even when they appeared during otherwise serious ceremonies.

Aside from providing comic relief, the Koshare served an important function: By showing how ridiculous and possibly destructive bad behavior could be, they reminded the Pueblo Indians to respect the rules of their society.

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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