What Is a Kachina?

Heard of the Kachina dolls of the Hopi/Pueblo indians? Here is a great description of what they are and how they fit in to the religious system of the indians written by Harold Colton in 1949. Ever since J. Walter Fewkes, of the Smithsonian Institution, wrote his first illustrated report on Hopi kachinas, in 1894, a growing number of people have become interested in the Hopi Indians and their delightful carved and painted kachina dolls. For years collectors have treasured these small representations of Hopi supernatural beings without being able to learn much about them. Since many people do not know about either kachinas or kachina dolls, we will diverge a little to explain what they are. In the northern parts of the states of New Mexico and Arizona are a number of compact Indian villages with flat-roofed houses built of stone or adobe. Because these Indians lived in […] Read More

1995: Teaching Native American Religions

Updated May 1, 1995 The following is a series of discussions concerning the teaching of Indian religions outside of their own cultural context. From: Ron Grimes, U Colorado Boulder (at the time) MX%”nn.chat@gnosys.svle.ma.us” 6-MAY-1993 18:51:48.40 Subj: Teach. Nat. Am. Rel. I am submitting this query simultaneously to two electronic discussion groups–one on religious studies, the other on Native American issues–to invite reflection on three questions: 1. Should or should not European Americans be teaching courses on Native American religions? 2. If we should not, why not, and what would be the results of our deferral? 3. If we should, how best can we proceed? I am giving much thought these days to the question of cultural imperialism, especially in two of its forms, namely, religious and academic imperialism. While on leave, I have been asked by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to teach […] Read More

The Path

“To all of both sides I say this. Have patience. Just realize where you come from. This is the essence of wisdom.” We are what we are…human… and, although we cannot change the world, we can change ourselves. Self-change is what this site is all about. This page is rather long. One of the reasons I made it so long is this… If you do not possess the ability to sit and read it all the way thru, then how can you slow down and effect change within? When will you find the time to listen to the voice within? How will you develop patience? I do not have degrees or pieces of paper to display that state I took this course or that I passed that class. I learned so much from others, not just people but places and animals. I learned thru trial and error. I learned from mistakes. I also learned […] Read More