Bean Dance (Powamu) is the most complex of all ceremonies and
is considered to be one of the most important of the Kachina
dances. It occurs in February, and is divided into two parts.
One part is the time when disciplining of the children occurs,
and the second part is to promote fertility for the upcoming
growing season, which is when the initiated males grow beans
in the kivas. The Katsinam appear in the villages carrying the
bean sprouts and bringing gifts for the children in the morning
and a dance is held later that night. Young children are also
initiated at this time into the Katsina societies.
disciplining of children occurs during the other part of the
Bean Dance ceremony. That is the time when the Katsinam in this
painting appear. During the Powamu, or purification ceremony,
there is a procession of Katsinam that will go from house to
house to lecture unruly children, and in some situations, adults.
They are, from left to right, Ha-hai Wuhti, the grandmother
Katsina and also the mother of the monsters. Behind her stands
a Soyoko known as the Black Nata-aska, an uncle from the Ogre
family, and two Soyok' Wuhti's who are attendants and considered
to be Aunties. Behind them is another Ogre known as Wiharu,
or White Ogre. He is also an uncle, as are the four other Soyokos
standing behind him. The last three Katsinam are He-heya's.
They are uncles also.
As the Ha-hai Wuhti talks to the children, she will tell them
what they are doing wrong and give them assignments to prove
their worthiness. She also informs the children that she will
feed them to the Soyoko's if they fail to meet their tasks.
At this time all of the Uncles will begin growling as their
mouths flap and their saws are raked across the ground. At the
same time, the Ha-hai Wuhti will also inform the children that
the Aunties have baskets of food for the Uncles, but, they could
be added to the basket if they don't behave. During this ordeal,
the three He-heya's will be intimidating the children with their
ropes as if they want to tie them up. This is a very solemn
time, and the audience watches with great reverence. It is a
time of regeneration, a time when purity is renewed and the
beginning of another life cycle.