Mud Thrower Kachina ‘Tsukapelyu’
This kachina only appears during the Fast Parade. He carries clay which he will form into balls and hurls them at spectators to catch their attention or at the racers in order to slow them down so the villagers have a better chance to win the foot race.
History of Kachinas
Kachina Carvings also known as Kachina Dolls are gifts given in hope of future abundance and health, as well as tools for education.
Kachina are traditionally carved from the roots of cottonwood trees which once were abundant on and near the Hopi lands. The Hopi word for cottonwood root is paako, which means water wood, and the cotton-wood root’s ability to seek and find abundant water, mirrors the ability of the Kachina to do the same for the Hopi people.
For the Hopi, Kachina are the bridge the spiritual world and mortals. Each year Kachina come, they walk upon the earth and they dance to bring life and renewal. When the Katsina return to the spirit world at the end of the planting, they return with prayers of the Hopi to continue on this earth for another round in the circle of life.
There are more than 250 different Kachina, each with its own separate attributes, representing everything from animals to abstract concepts. The Hopi carvers use a single piece of cottonwood root.