Native American Hopi Kachina – Racer Snake

Miniature Kachina - Racer Snake by Loretta Multine

Racer Snake will be in one place one second and in another place a fraction of a second later, much like the slender racer snake that lives in the desert.

The Racer Snake is a guardian at the Bean Dance and the Day Dance. He watches over the ceremonies, patrols the dances and guards the dancers.

A kachina has three aspects. The supernatural being as it exists in the minds of the Hopis; the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit; and the dolls that are made in the likeness of the masked impersonator of the supernatural spirit.

Kachinas represent the forces of nature, human, animal, plant, and act as intermediaries between the world of humans and the gods. Kachinas play an important part in the seasonal ceremonies of the Hopi, which encompass generations of passed-on knowledge and tradition, and has become the subject of a number of books. The simplified description of the this individual kachina doll here is meant only as an introduction.

Small kachinas (dolls) are given to children to introduce the child to what each of the kachinas look like.

Traditionally, kachina dolls are created by Hopi or Zuni artists

Loretta Multine is 1/2 Hopi Tobacco Clan and 1/2 Navajo Tachinii, “Red strike in water” and born for the Honeycomb Clan. She learned kachina carving in 1983 from her husband, who learned the craft from his grandfather. Loretta has been carving kachinas for over 25 years. She uses the root of the cottonwood tree for her creations.

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