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Kachina: Snake Dancer

The Snake Dancer Katsinam (Chusona) is a rarely carved Kachina figure, and in some communities it is not considered a Kachina at all, but a person in society. His ceremony is considered to be one of the most sacred among the Hopi. When a snake is found, the Snake Dancer captures the snake and dances with it, usually putting it in his mouth.

The ceremonies are not usually open to the public; instead they are closed private affairs. When the dance is completed, the Chusona returns the snake to its home and sends a message back with the snake to Mother Earth. The Snake Dancer requests that she grant the wishes of the tribe, which usually ask for good health, seasonal rain and a bountiful harvest.

After the ceremony, the Dancer remains solemn while requesting that Mother Earth grant the wishes of the People.

The Snake Dance has always been an intense fascination for non-Hopi people, and consequentially, effigies of the Dancer have been carved for many years.[1]

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References:

[1] http://www.kachinahouse.com/snake-dancer-katsina-dolls