Every four years children between the ages of six and ten are initiated into the group of kachinas. The rite of passage takes place during the Puwamu celebration in one of the kivas. Three kachina participate- the Crow Mother and her two sons Black Tungwüp and the Blue Tungwüp
The Crow Mother is the leader of the whipping kachina and her garb is described in detail according to the Hopi tradition. She wears a dark dress, and a white plaited sash with a long fringe that is knotted on one side. Her shoulders are covered with what would have been a hand-woven shaw complete with brightly covered embroidery. Sometimes Tümas carries a sheaf of long yucca leaves and other times she carries a bowl filled with corn, or bean sprouts. Her mask is a turquoise blue helmet with the classic double triangular face design in black, outlined in white providing a stark contrast. On each side of the mask ascending towards the heavens is an appendage of black crow feathers forming the crows wings. Finally, parrot feathers top it all off in a center plumage.
Artist Alton Honahni paid attention to every detail when painting and carving this Crow Mother. Here she is depicted with the white sash, darkly colored dress and bold turquoise helmet holding a bowl of food, likely corn. In this scene she is descending the craggy peak signifying the start to a fertile and prosperous year.
Kachina: Crow Mother (Tumas, Angwusnasomtaka)
Artist: Alton Honahni, Hopi, Arizona
Dimensions: 7 in. x 1-3/4 in.