Kachina Dolls Kachinas exist in western Pueblo culture. The western Pueblo cultures include Hopi, Zuni, Tewa Village ( on the Hopi Reservation), Acoma Pueblo, and Laguna Pueblo. In Hopi, the word "qatsina" means literally "life bringer", and can be anything that exists in the natural world or cosmos. A kachina can be anything from an element (like water), to a quality (likebeauty), to a natural phenomenon (like a hurricane), to a concept (like a love). Among otheruses, the kachinas represent historical events and things in nature, and are used to educate children in the ways of life.
There are more than 400 different kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo culture. The kachinas assist the Indians in their every day lives and commonly are carvedfrom cottonwood in the form of various animals such as wolves, owls, and deer.
Among the Hopi, kachina dolls are traditionally carved by the uncles and given to young girls at the Bean Dance (Spring Bean Planting Ceremony) and Home Dance Ceremony in the summer. The function of the dolls is to introduce children to some of the many kachinas. In Hopi the word is oftenused to represent the spiritual beings themselves, the dolls, and the people who dress as kachinas for ceremonial dances, which are understood to all embody aspects of the same belief system.