The Hopis call any spirit of any kind—whether it be of a star, mountain, idea, plan, or animal—a Kachina. Kachinas are taken from the Mayan concept of a spirit time manifestation. “Ka,” means respect and “China” means spirit. In the Hopi language, a Kachina is also a man who impersonates any spirit during a ceremony, wearing the sacred mask and costume which invests him with his power. Frank Waters in The Book of the Hopi (New York: Penguin Books, 1977, 38) writes:
When the people (the Hopis) moved off on their migrations over the continent, they carved pictographs of him (the humpbacked flute player better known as Kokópilau, taken from kokoó-wood; pilau-hump) on rocks all the way from the tip of South America up to Canada, and it was for these two máhuas that the Blue Flute and Gray Flute Clans and Societies were named.
Kokópilan carries seed in his hump. This seed represents the first aspect of the Mayan concept of time—the intent. The Hopis’ migration portrays the essence of the second aspect of time—the realization. According to legend, the Hopis moved four times, and in the end, they returned to their starting point. The Hopis travelled in a large circle.
According to this legend, several Hopi clans spread out over the continent. The Spider, Blue Flute, Fire, and Snake clans traveled upward over North America. They traversed the continent, as far north as Canada and to the eastern seaboard and back. Many Hopis believe that the great Serpent Mound near Louden, Ohio, may have been created by their ancestors. The Serpent Mound symbolizes the Aztec concept of the Uroboros—a circle formed by a snake eating its own tail. The great round of the Uroboros is the symbol of primordial unity, which encloses the infinitude of all space and time, spread through America to Indian nations.
The Sun, Bear, Parrot, and Eagle clans moved southward. Some Hopis believe that the Sun Clan constructed a huge city of stone and left images of the sun and the condor, who were their chief deities, everywhere. Hopi migration myths represent ancient Mexico’s influence over the Hopi nation. The mission of the Hopi clans was to complete the four rounds of migration which symbolize the four worlds. The Hopis believe that three previous worlds existed before our present world, the fourth world. Waters notes, “To some Hopis the coyote figure reported found at Guatemala City indicates the started place of the migrations (106).” It is no wonder that the national emblems of the United States and Mexico both contain the eagle, as other legends of indigenous tribes, both above and below the border, mention migratory patterns of early people as well. The idea of many worlds is a Mayan concept. Time repeats itself and does not end, but begins anew.