Tatsiqtö; Mudhead

Tatsiqtö is the best known as Kooyemsi, or Mudhead. Hopi Mudheads and their songs were originally Zuni. According to a Zuni legend, they are the result of incest between a brother and sister. Because of the stigma attached to their birth, they are not katsinam. They live in a separate location near the katsinam's home and help the katsinam announce events, translate requests, give directions, and present other information. Although they often entertain the crowd with their antics, they are not clowns, but are healers, messengers, warriors and magicians. Because they speak to and for the Ancient Ones, they can be very dangerous. In the knobs on their heads they carry seeds and particles of soil collected from human footprints. The soil gives them power over people. Made of mud, they symbolize the matrix where humans originated. When they leave for the spirit world at the end of the katsina season, they are given prayer sticks by the clowns and sprinkled with cornmeal by the kiva chiefs. (981-21-10/58605)

Go Back

Return to Ceremonies

Go Forward