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Hopi Rainmakers

An article about the Hopi Indian tribe.

The Hopi Indian tribe is a tribe that believes in a spirit called a katsinam that comes to earth from the mountains, clouds or the ground.  They believe that this spirit will take the Hopi’s gifts and prayers for health, fertility, and rain, and carry them back to the gods.  The rain is very important for the Hopi tribe because they live in the high desert of northeastern Arizona. 

The Hopi tribe performs different ceremonies which include Soyalangwu, Powamuya, and Niman. Sotalangwu is a winter solstice ceremony in December.  Powamuya is when the katsinam are asked to appear in February.  Niman is the ceremony when the katsinam are leaving.  In between Powamuya and Niman, they perform several dances that help bring rain, help crops grow, and increase the number of animals, which the Hopi depend on for survival.  As spring arrives, the dances move out onto the plazas, where they last all day from morning to night. At the end of Niman, the katsinam return to the spirit world.  During the dances and ceremonies, katsina dolls, or tithu, are given by the katsinam to infants (male or female), young girls, and women. Most are given out during Powamuya and Niman. Girls at or near marriageable age receive most of them, although married women sometimes get them from their husbands. A woman who receives a tithu treats it with great respect and hangs it in her house to benefit her family. 

Leenangkatsina, Qaleetaqa, and Si’ o Sa’ lako are the rainmaker gods.  Leenangkatsina is a leader who performs rituals that begin the katsinam season.  His flute brings rain, health and bountiful harvests.  Qaleetaqa’s cone head represents rain clouds. He carries lightning and a bull-roarer he uses to bring rain.  Si´o Sa´lako are very skilled at bringing rain, and are easily distinguished from other katsinam by their full feather skirts.  These gods are made into wooden figures and hung in houses to bring the rain and help crops grow.   This is all about the rainmakers of the Hopi tribe.

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