Kachina - Katsina Dolls
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A preview selection of mid-twentieth century of mostly Hopi and Zuni Pueblo Katsina - Kachina Dolls, most dating from around 1920 to 1950 and varying in size. Some are identifiable to a specific carver, but most are of an age where the carver's name is no longer available. The Katsina or Kachina Dolls are teaching aids to help Pueblo girls to learn about the pantheon of gods, the Katsinam from Zuni, Hopi, and other Pueblos. So, they are only one form of the Katsina.
The second form are the dancers who become the Spirit Being. Only the men are allowed to dance as a Katsina.
The third form of Katsinam are the actual Spirit Beings or Pueblo spirit messengers who send prayers for rain, bountiful harvests, and a prosperous, healthy life for humankind. They are our friends and visitors who bring gifts and food, as well as messages to teach appropriate behavior and the consequences of unacceptable behavior. Katsinam, of which there are over two hundred and fifty different types, represent various beings, from animals to clouds. During their stay at Hopi, the Katsinam appear among Hopi people in physical form, singing and dancing in ceremonies. On Third Mesa the Katsinam arrive in December, while at the First and Second Mesa they arrive in February at the Bear Dance Ceremony. Night dances are held until the end of March, followed by day dances from May to July. Niman (Home Dance), which takes place in July, is the last katsina dance of the cycle. At the end of this day-long ceremony the Katsinam return to their spiritual home at the San Francisco Peaks, Kisiau and Waynemai. – Southwest Crossroads
Katsina Doll making at Hopi Pueblo, Arizona. Image Source: from postcard Published by Frashers, Inc., Pomona, Calif.