Encyclopedia Article


In Puebloan tradition, a kiva is both a sacred space to observe religious rituals as well as a society associated with a particular kiva. Kivas symbolize Puebloan emergence, or birth, into this world, and their architecture evokes an enclosed space of sacred potential. The training associated with healing rituals or with the social responsibilities of each kiva society occurs within the particualr kiva associated with thatspecific power or responsibility. Each kiva cares for and is identified by a mask associated with its guiding entity, a force or persona associated with weather, health, warfare, or collective well-being.

Photo Credit: 

"Taos Pueblo," photograph by William A. Keleher. William A. Keleher Collection (PICT 000-742). Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.