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Chakwaina (alternatively Cha'kwaina or Tcakwaina) is a kachina which appears in Hopi, Zuni, and Keresan ceremonies, but does not appear in Tewa ceremonies.[1] Although imagery of the kachina is varied, it is usually depicted as an ogre, with ferocious teeth and a black goatee and black mask with yellow eyes.[1][2] Its spread throughout Pueblo culture is often associated with the Asa clan.[1]

It is often claimed that Chakwaina is a ceremonial representation of Estevanico, a Moroccan-born slave who led the first Spanish party to the Pueblo tribes as a scout for the expedition of Fray Marcos de Niza.[3][2][4] Early anthropologist, Frederick J. Dockstader asserted that legendary sources linked Chakwaina to contact with Estevanico. However, the linkage is not clear and the kachina may actually predate contact with the Spanish.[5] In addition, although usually black, there are white or albino Chakwaina representations.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Koenig, Seymore H. (2005). Acculturation in the Navajo Eden: New Mexico, 1550-1750. New York: YBK Publishers. 
  2. ^ a b McDonald, Dedra S. (1998). "Intimacy and Empire: Indian-African Interaction in Spanish Colonial New Mexico, 1500-1800". American Indian Quarterly. 22 (1/2): 134–156. 
  3. ^ Castañeda de Nájera, Pedro. Narrative of the Expedition of Coronado. Ed. John Miller Morris. Chicago: Lakeside Press, 2002.
  4. ^ Washburn, Wilcomb E. (1996). The Cambridge history of the native peoples of the Americas, Part 1. London: Cambridge University Press. p. 371. 
  5. ^ Robert Goodwin, Crossing the Continent, 1527-1540, Introduction, New York: Harper Collins, 2008
  6. ^ Bromburg, Eric (1986). The Hopi approach to the art of Kachina doll carving. Schiffer Publishing.