The Kachina Legend
Kachina Dolls are immensely varied and colorful and special to the Navajo and the Hopi Indians. They form the basis for the mystery in the Nancy Drew book, The Kachina Doll Mystery. You may be wondering what they are and what they symbolize.
As this site explains it, they are "They are a representation of good and of evil, they answer prayers of the people and enhance life. They are representations of the Pueblo's beloved spirits." There's more detail in the meaning of Kachinas at this site that I recommend reading.
Though it doesn't fit into our schedule this year, we visited The Heard Museum in Phoenix where they have a large collection of Kachina Dolls that are quite lovely. If you have any down time or are spending some extra time in this area, you might visit the museum--check out their website here on the Kachina collection. They also have a page on interesting Kachina Doll Facts.
For a list of Kachina Doll meanings by name, click here. In The Kachina Doll Mystery, there were 6 Kachina's mentioned that were painted in the hall at the resort, though not all were named. Those named and their meanings:
Cloud Kachina - Represents the clouds in the sky, brings moisture for the crops.
Bear Kachina - Represents great power to cure the sick.
Eagle Kachina - Represents Strength and power, carries your dreams to heaven.
Prickly Pear Cactus Kachina - Represents the spirit of the cactus.
Mudhead Kachina - Well known Kachina dolls, acts as clown.
And on the outside wall was painted the Hilili - Witch Kachina is a guard Kachina known for the shrieking call he makes.