There is certainly no shortage of unique Native American origin stories and history, regardless of the tribe, as Native American culture is steeped in interesting folklore, especially when it comes to art.
That’s why Palms Trading Company is excited to share with you some unique stories about Hopi Kachina dolls, one of our best-selling, handcrafted items
The Story of the “Living Feather” Kachina Sculpture
One unique story is that of the “Living Feather” Kachina doll sculpture, a famous and well-known doll featuring a historical figure who fought for leadership several hundred years ago. The story goes that one day, four young warriors came to the call of a medicine man who wanted to choose a leader to represent the tribes and negotiate with Washington over their lands. The medicine man presented them with a challenge: the first one to bring back the feather of a live eagle will be the one to lead them in the nation’s capital. So, the warrior, now known as Living Feather, fashioned an eagle trap out of a leather thong and a jackrabbit. The warrior was able to snatch a feather from an eagle and then release both animals.
Paralyzed Kachina & Blind Mudhead
Kachina dolls are more than simply dolls – they’re thought to represent Kachina spirits. There’s a famous tale about two Kachina spirits, Tuhavi (Paralyzed Kachina) and Koyemsi (Blind Mudhead). It’s said that one day, the tribes had to relocate, and since they had no horses, they had to make the journey on foot, leaving two of their members behind – crippled Tuhavi and blind Koyemsi. They were left with food and water and expected to die eventually.
However, Tuhavi climbed upon Koyemsi’s back and served as his eyes, directing him where to walk and shoot his bow and arrow to catch food. By working together, they were able to overcome the odds and survive. But their story doesn’t end there. According to the legend, the two were sitting together one night roasting a rabbit they’d caught over the fire when they were confronted by a giant Ogre Kachina spirit. The Ogre first pointed its bow and arrow at the two, who thought they were done for, then unexpectedly shot it into the fire. Sparks and ash flew out of the fire into Koyesmi’s eyes, and suddenly, he could see again. The sparks also flew onto Tuhavi’s legs, who found that afterward, he could walk.
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