Yellow Corn Maiden: Old Style Katsina
by Paul Huma, Hopi
cottonwood, pigment, feathers
Of all the women who appear with other Katsinam, the Katsina Maiden, or Katsinmana, is the most prevalent. If she is carrying yellow corn, she is known as the Yellow Corn Maiden, similarly blue corn, etc. She appears at Soyal ceremony and marks the beginning of the Katsina season by marking the openings to the Kivas with cornmeal. She often appears in regular Katsina dances with household goods, accompanied by Longhair Katsinam. Her presence is a prayer for corn. She also honors Mother Earth and her continuing ability to feed her children. Placing this Katsina in your home, particularly on an altar, shows respect for the many gifts we receive each day from Mother Earth. This gentle maiden reminds us always to be thankful. A Katsina Maiden often will change her name to that of the Katsina with whom she is dancing, although her appearance does not change.
"Yellow Corn Maiden appears with a variety of Katsinam; Angak'china, Ma'alo, Pawik and others. She may sometimes be seen with the Kocha Mana. They dance in a line separate from the other Katsinam but following the same pattern of dance, turning as the others do, gesturing as they do. Their only deviation is when they kneel and place large gourds on the ground to rasp."