DESCRIPTION: A hand carved and painted pair of Native American Hopi Kachina (or Katsina) dolls, one in a long green and blue robe with red neck kerchief, the other in an elaborate headdress. Each is signed, one signed “Mongwa, D. Scott, Old Oraibi” and the other “D. Harvey, Koyemsi, Hopi Tewa, ‘96”. DIMENSIONS: Tallest 10.75” high.
CULTURAL BACKGROUND: The Hopi people live primarily on three mesas in northeastern Arizona, about 70 miles from Flagstaff. Hopi katsina figures, also known as kachina dolls, are figures carved typically from cottonwood root by Hopi people to instruct girls and new brides about katsinas or katsinam, the immortal beings that bring rain, control aspects of the natural world and society, and act as messengers between humans and the spirit world. The katsinas are known to be the spirits of deities, natural elements or animals, or the deceased ancestors of the Hopi. Katsina figures originated in the late 19th century and continue to be carved to this day adhering to Hopi tradition.