I remember when Dad first brought the Kachina home, it reminded me of that old Twilight Zone with Agnes Moorehead where she gets creeped out by something unseen and moving in her attic. She climbs into the attic to investigate and this tiny creature starts to attack her with sharp toothpick-like knives. We never get a clear picture of her attacker but somehow she wraps it in a burlap sack and throws it out of her house and tries to stop thinking about it. While I never would do that to my Dad's Eagle Kachina, I must admit that it kind of creeped me out at first, kind of like that Twilight Zone episode.
Then I did some research.
According to Hopi Native Americans, Kachina dolls are objects meant to be treasured and studied and not considered idols of worship or children’s toys. The Eagle Kachina, in particular, rules the sky and represents great power and strength. Kachinas are really very beautiful and colorful, always exquisitely carved.
I always knew that one day Kachinas would be incorporated into one of my stories. They're just so cool! I'm working on a draft now as a matter of fact and Craig and I are going to take a road trip to northern Arizona this summer (when it hits 120 horribly hot degrees in the desert; the northern mountains will be a nice change) so I can continue my research. I'd like to visit with Hopi artists and learn more than I can glean from books. Suffice it to say that this particular novel that I'm working on will include Kachinas, a Hopi Native American teenage girl, an unorthodox family, a bit of mystery and some kissing. It will be a young adult novel, after all. :)