Kachina means spirit. Kachinas are the spirits of departed ancestors, of rain and clouds, of supernatural beings, and of life in its many manifestations. Lore says, they are guardians of the Hopi and carry the prayers of the people to the spirit world. Carved Kachina dolls are given to Hopi children to help them identify the various spiritual figures and their costumes.
During the annual cycle of Pueblo rituals, brilliantly costumed and masked Kachina dancers, acting as intermediaries, summon their spirit ancestors for blessings of sunshine, rain, bountiful crops, and success in hunting, and thank them for the favors bestowed upon the pueblo. Today the Kachina is an important element in Southwest jewelry.
Long before the people of the desert Southwest communicated through written means, Petroglyphs or pictures were etched into and painted on the canyon walls and ancient dwellings. These pictures told the stories of the day, legends of the past, and prayers for the future.