by Sally Blanchard
Hopi Kachinas are both symbols of supernatural beings and the male ceremonial dancers who represent them. While the deities and the dancers go back hundreds of years, Kachina dolls have been used in the religious training of children for just over one hundred years. The dolls are given to the children by the dancers that they represent. Each Hopi kachina represents one of over 200 deities, most of which represent their strong bond with nature. The parrot is the symbol of fertility and the warm, fruitful lands to the south. The Hopi Parrot Clan is recognized as the symbolic mother of all Hopi clans.