|The Hopi people believe there are 2 forms of everything on the planet: physical and spiritual. The word "katsinum" means spirit, and this is where the word "kachina" comes from.
The story of how the Kachina came to the Hopi people starts off long ago in an ancient village. There was a time of drought and starvation for many years. Slowly the food stores ran out and the people began to die. When all hope was lost, the Kachina saw the people suffering and took pity on them. They decided to show themselves and materialized in human-like form to help them with their power to grow food, bring rain and heal the sick through prayers of song and dance.
The people were afraid of the Kachinas, never seeing them before and thinking they might be evil; gathered up arms and prepared to drive them away. The Kachinas, however, blessed the people through song and dance; and produced gifts of food for the starving, helped heal the sick and brought rain for the thirsty crops (which they still do today).
So, thankful to the Kachinas, the Hopi people asked them to become a part of their tribe. It was in this village where they all lived side-by-side for many years. Over time, however, the people, no longer hungry and dependent on the weather, became lazy and began to neglect their way of life. Fields were choked with weeds, husbands and wives became promiscuous, and elders who could no longer care for themselves were forgotten. Children were left alone, crying and dirty and the buildings of adobe began to crumble.
The Kachinas seeing the results of living with the Hopi people, thought it best to leave because they had interfered with the Hopi way of life. The people realizing what was about to happen begged the Kachinas to stay.... but they refused. Before leaving, the Kachinas agreed to teach the Hopi people how to prepare offerings, the ceremonial dress, the songs and dances and how to harness the power over the elements. Only when properly preformed, will the true spirits deliver their prayers to higher deities to bring rain, bountiful harvests, health and happiness to all the people of the world.