Zuni Kachinas

Although kachina dolls are usually associated with Hopi, the Zuni Pueblo of New Mexico also has a rich history of kachina doll carving. (Other pueblos, such as those in the Rio Grande valley, also share the Kachina mythology.) Like the Hopi, the Zuni originally carved kachina dolls to teach children about their religion’s kachina spirits, but began making dolls to sell to railroad travelers starting in the 1880s. Although many Pueblo cultures share a kachina mythology, each set of beliefs varies slightly from tribe to tribe and how they make their kachina carvings varies as well. For example, added clothing adornment is characteristic of Zuni kachina dolls, and uncommon on Hopi dolls. Zuni dolls also have articulated arms attached with metal-headed nails.

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