Native American Hopi Carved Crow Mother, Maasaw and Hu Whipper Katsina Dolls
Native American Hopi Carved Crow Mother, Maasaw and Hu Whipper Katsina Dolls by Thomas Fredericks
Crow Mother (Angwusnasomtaka), Mother of the Whipper Katsinam and considered by many Hopi to be the Mother of all Katsinam. She is Crow Bride (Angwushahai-i) on Third Mesa probably because she comes dressed entirely in white. On the other Mesas she is Crow Mother. She appears during the Bean Dance (Powamuya) on all three Mesas. During the Powamuya, she supervises the initiation of the children into the Katsina Society and carries the yucca whips with which they are struck by the Hu Katsina. Later in the same ceremony, she leads other Katsinam into the village bearing in her arms a basket of corn kernels and/or bean sprouts to symbolically start the new growing season.
Maasaw, also written as Masauwu or Masau, is known as the Hopi Death Katsina. He is responsible for the Earth's surface, fire, and the underworld. Death was an important part of hunting and war, and hunters, warriors and shamen called upon him for assistance. Hunters sought food, and called upon Maasaw to guide the spirit of the animal into the underworld where it could enter the cycle of rebirth. Warriors sought the death of their enemy or power for a battle. Shamen sought to heal the sick, since Maasaw had power over death.
The Whipper Katsina appears in different colors representing the different directions. The Crow Mother is the mother of the Hu Katsinam and she appears with them to aid in the whipping of the children at ceremonies. The Hu whips the initiates and when their yucca whips wear out the Crow Mother takes them and supplies new ones. These Katsinam appear at Angk'wa (mainly at Third Mesa) and are also responsible for maintaining order during the ceremony. Since the Hu is a whipper, he also punishes clowns, children, and people when they misbehave.
8 in. tall