Native American Katsina and Kachina Dolls
There are hundreds of Hopi Katsinam, "personations" of supernatural beings, important animals and ancestors who help the Hopi people raise their crops, their children, and their spirits. The Katsina dancers are men wearing masks--each of which represents a particular Katsina--and paint and feathered costumes. Everyone in the village, aside from the children, knows that the Katsina dancers are actually men from the village, though Katsinam are still believed to have supernatural powers.
The Navajo Kachina has no spiritual significance in the Navajo culture; it is a craft learned as a way for some Navajo people to earn a living. It is clear upon examination of these dolls that the Navajo Kachina is not handcarved from cottonwood root as are the Hopi Katsinam. The body parts of the Navajo Kachina are machine made; the dolls are then pegged, glued together and handfinished by the Navajo maker.