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Buffalo Kachina

May 11, 2008

In December, I found myself buying a Kachina at an auction (if you’ve ever been to an auction, you know they can be like that…after the sale you discover you bought all kinds of unusual and surprising items you never knew you needed!)

I was in the back of the room and could barely see it, hadn’t noticed it in the preview, hadn’t been looking for one, but found myself bidding on him and and that evening taking him home and discovering how special he is.

I thought for some reason he was an Ogre Kachina, and I thought I can use an ogre around here, keep everyone in line. Carved likely from cottonwood, on a round wooden base, he dances. He is covered in rabbit fur, with a leather neck piece and apron with a shell, a rattle in one hand, a feather in another, round yellow eyes, a jutting red jaw, curved horns. When his mask is removed, you can see the man underneath. He is beautiful and soft yet strong. I am in love with him.

I know that you are supposed to feed a Kachina cornmeal, and it is time to do that I know, but he has been a special sacred object: I have been burning incense–pinyon for purification and now Tibetan peace insense on a small carved soapstone leaf on his base, and watching the smoke curl up and swirl around him, I know he is happy.

The other night, I decided it was time to learn more about him, about this Ogre Kachina, so I nosed around on the internet, searching for info on Ogre Kachinas, and came up short. This didn’t seem like my kachina. I finished burning some insence and took the Kachina off the mantel where he stands in front of a mirror so we can see both sides. Lo and behold, underneath him the artist has signed his name (can’t make it out) and wrote “Buffalo.”

Here is a little about what I have found out:

Buffalo – Most powerful kachina. Kills evil thoughts and is a spiritual protector.

  • Buffalo Warrior – Assures there will be adequate food for winter.

Buffalo Kachina dolls are the most powerful of all the Kachinas. He is believed to be a spiritual protector and to have the ability to kill evil thoughts. He is usually seen wearing a buffalo fur hood with horns, that reveals a man’s face. The fur hood trails all the way down his back. Buffalo Kachina also typically carries a rattle when he is dancing and a spear and shield when he is hunting or at war.

Here is more information on Kachina Dolls
He has been the perfect kachina for me, for us, during this challenging time. I have felt his protection over these months.

I know already there is more to this story, to my story with this Kachina. I look forward to finding out more and sharing it here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. dawnmorningstar permalink
    August 23, 2009 3:19 pm

    Hi! I loved reading about you discovering your Kachina and the close relationship you have with him. I have recently become interested in Kachinas myself. I have a book with line drawings of several of them, but there is no name, so I am having a bit of trouble identifying some of them. All I have to go on is their dress and sometimes what they are holding. I am now going to check out the taostrading site and see if it can help me. Thanks again for sharing this story.


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