Hopi Full Figure Katsinam
There are hundreds of Katsinam, "personations" of supernatural beings, important animals and ancestors. The Katsinam live in the San Francisco Peaks (north of Flagstaff, AZ) and come to the villages in February. They stay in the villages until the end of July helping 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. Much of the value in these dances is found to be instructing the young.
The Katsina masks are clearly non-human, since Katsinam themselves are non-human. The shape, color, and appearance of the mask are important, and each Katsina has a unique mask. Dolls are made to repesent and honor the Katsinam and to help the children learn the differences between them.
Katsina dolls are an important and cherished part of the Hopi culture. These dolls are representations of one of the hundreds of Katsinam, or Hopi spirit guides, who are believed to live primarily in the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona. They descend from the mountains as the winter season wanes to help villagers tend to the fields, care for the children, and tackle any other major task required to encourage the community and land to flourish. The Katsinam stay through late July when the planting and growing seasons have ended. At that time they take their leave of the Hopi and return to their home in the mountains of Arizona.
During the time that the Katsinam are visiting the Hopi villages, numerous dances are held to both celebrate a particular natural event or remind the people of the village of the significant presence of the Katsinam, and to help the children learn about these sacred beings and what each of them represents. During these dances, the Hopi men will don costumes and will "personate" an individual Katsina, which is represented by a specific mask, color patterns and physical characteristics.
Full-figure Katsinam are carved, generally by a Hopi child’s uncle, to represent a specific Katsina and to help the child become acquainted with that particular spirit. These full-figure carvings, referred to as dolls, are carefully carved from the strong, light root of the cottonwood tree and then painted with the particular colors of the specific Katsina the doll represents.
Kachina House carries beautiful, hand-carved full-figured Hopi Katsina dolls created by Native Southwestern American Indians. Each doll is shaped and painted according to spiritual and cultural traditions that have been passed down through many generations. The artists take pride in their work and are pleased not only to display it, but to be able to share a part of their culture with the rest of the world.
Located in Sedona, Arizona, Kachina House is the largest distributor of Native American Indian art and artifacts in the state. For those unable to visit our 5,000 square foot showroom and warehouse in Sedona, we offer some of our favorite and best-selling pieces here on our website. As you browse our collection of full-figure Katsina dolls, remember that we’re just a click away from fulfilling your individual or wholesale order. Call us toll free at 800-304-3290 or drop us an email. We always like to hear from our customers.
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