Kachina: Deer

The Deer is a sacred animal to the Hopis, Navajos, Zunis and many Native American Indians. Like most animal Kachinas, the Deer Kachina dances to increase his kind. This Kachina also aids in bringing rain, making the grass grow, and ensuring there is plentiful food for the future. The Deer Kachina dancer carries a staff in each hand, which represents the front legs of the deer.

The headdress is often very ornate with antlers, feathers, and a bright green juniper collar.

The Navajo traditions of hunting deer are sacred rituals, worth understanding: https://henryehooper.blog/navajo-traditions-the-deer-hunter/

The Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and other pueblos also have revered hunting practices of deer and curing of their meat.

The Kachina Traditions

Hopi native Americans are recognized as the first Native Americans to create kachina dolls in the image of their Kachina Spirits. Other tribes later adopted similar kachina doll making skills, but elaborated their designs to include fur, leather, beads and other realistic objects in their kachina doll making practices.

The Hopi conceive of the arrival of the kachinas, also called Katsinas, as coming with a “gift burden.” That is, every Hopi individual carries with himself or herself the obligation and constant concern to do the right thing while caring for one another. The dancers all have roles to make sure the dances are reverential to their spirit animal, instructive to children, and sacred to the tribe: their crops, harvest, animals and survival are co-dependent on it.

For more on carving of Native American and Hopi kachina dolls see the following link: