Hopi Kachinas (1960)

Overview of Hopi kachina/katsina/tithu/tihu making (feat. master craftsman Jimmy Kewanwytewa) and how they are used to teach traditional ways and cultural history to the children. Also includes a Butterfly Dance performance.

Opening text [title missing] over image of a snow-capped San Francisco Peaks and trees starts with “Photographed by Jack Breed; Writing - James Sieger, Sound and Editing - Hoyt Griffith, Narration - Douglas Rapp; wide view of a pueblo atop rocky desert plateau (Oraibi/Orayvi, Third Mesa); closer view of a Hopi pueblo with horse and buggy on the dirt road, a person jumps down from a first-story rooftop, another person climbs outer stairs to the third floor; closer view of same, a woman climbing stairs to third floor; back to previous shot, but now small children are playing in a puddle in the street and walking around; wide view of the village with people performing a ceremonial (what’s identified as a) kachina dance in the far distant dance plaza; closer view of same, from above, audience in the foreground; close-up of a dancer’s feet, and back to the larger view of the dance; audience on the sidelines sitting on low walls, or in the shade against a long building, children look at the camera, dancers in background; an older man walks down an exterior set of stairs carrying a kachina/katsina (tithu/tihu) doll, a girl looks on, he then hands the doll to her; back to wide shot kachina dance, alternating with close-up of their feet; close-up of three kachina dolls; various shots of a man (identified as Jimmy Kewanwytewa) painting the crown on a wooden kachina doll form, then seated with a length of natural uncut cottonwood on his lap, he then expects it with his hands, and saws off a piece; next Kewanwytewa chisels the piece making cuts down one end, then he files that end smooth, and continues to chisel the form; close-up of his face concentrating on his work alternating with shots of him whittling off bits of wood to create a human-like form; various shots of Kewanwytewa sanding a carved headdress/crown for the kachina with a piece of sandstone; he turns around in his hands the unpainted kachina; various closer shots of him painting the doll’s face with white paint from a nearby bowl, then continues with colored paints for the headdress; he then fluffs the feathers on the crown of the now completed (identified as a [Palhik?]“Mana” doll); close-ups of the doll; back to Kewanwytewa holding the doll and smiling at the camera; close-ups of other several kachina dolls; several various views of men and women of all ages performing the Butterfly Dance (Polìtikive) in lines and small groups in the dance plaza, many carrying (pińon tree?) branches; the old man, carrying the kachina doll, and young girl walk away from the camera down a dirt, tree-lined road; they stop in a field, the San Francisco Peaks in the background, he gestures to the doll and talks to the girl, she then takes it from him; closer shot of the two; closing credit missing.


Hopi Kachinas opening title (from another source) thumbnail

Open title. Courtesy of PeriscopeFilm.com

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