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What is a Kachina?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Kachina as:

ka-chi-na [kuh-chee-nuh]

(1.) Any of numerous deified ancestral spirits of the Pueblo peoples, believed to reside in the pueblo for part of each year.

(2.) A masked dancer believed to embody a particular spirit during a religious ceremony.

(3.) A carved doll in the costume of a particular spirit, usually presented as a gift to a child.

[Hopi katsina, supernatural being, masked impersonator of a supernatural being.]

kachina, native american doll, masked dancer, supernatural being