Native American Hopi Carved Hehey'a Katsina Doll
Native American Hopi Carved Hehey'a Katsina Doll by Thomas Fredericks
The Hehey'a Katsina has no English name or translation. Hehey'a Katsinam are most often seen on Third Mesa and act as messengers to the rain gods. Hehey'as dance on the side of the procession and guard the other dancers. The Hehey'a talks in opposites...for instance, if the dance is good, he says it is bad. Hehey'a is a relative of the Ogre family and appears at Powamuya. One bit of lore says that the people of Awatovi village were being very "un-Hopi" in their behavior and were warned by villagers from other mesas to return to traditional Hopi ways. The people ignored the warnings; as a result, one night many of them were invited into the kiva for a game of chance, to gamble. When the people went into the kiva, villagers from other mesas threw chili peppers down from the top of the kiva into the fire and the people were poisoned by the chili pepper gas and they burned in the fire. One man witnessed this event and ran from Awatovi. When he tried to explain what had happened through his tears, which had streaked his face, he babbled incoherently and staggered around. Surely a case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The villagers were very afraid of this being and his erratic behavior. He is seen in contemporary times when the Ogres come to the village homes to take the children. Heheyas will sneak around ahead of the Ogres and suddenly appear in windows to startle everyone. They are frightening reminders of Awatovi and what can happen when the people stray from traditional Hopi life. This carving by Thomas is unique as it combines a traditional or Old Style carving and places it on a base. This piece is adorned with shells, rabbit fur, a scarf and even cotton for his hair.
13.5 in. tall