Hopi Mosairu Katsina, Buffalo Katsina Doll


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Once Known Native American Carver

The Mosairu: A Tale of the Buffalo Katsina Doll

This piece of artistry, known as the Mosairu or Buffalo Katsina doll, is a distinctive representation from the First Mesa on the Hopi Reservation. Its unique style sets it apart from its counterpart found in the villages on Second Mesa. The distinguishing feature of the First Mesa version lies in the positioning of the horns, which are placed on the sides, while the Second Mesa versions sport the horns on top of the head.

The face mask, a crucial element of the doll, can be adorned with either a green or black hue, adding to its mystique. The doll is dressed in a western-style shirt, complemented by a traditional Hopi skirt and moccasins, creating a fusion of cultures.

The Buffalo Katsina stands as a true katsina, setting it apart from the White Buffalo, which is a dancer and not a katsina. The distinction is clear in their attire - the Buffalo Katsina dons a mask, a feature absent in the Buffalo Dancer.

This Mosairu or Buffalo Katsina doll, with its intricate details and cultural significance, serves as a testament to the rich heritage and artistic prowess of the Hopi people.

The animals are advisors, doctors, and assistants of the Hopi. It is through the assistance of the animals that the Hopi have overcome monsters and cured strange diseases. Animal katsinas are warriors and know the ways of danger and can aid the men in becoming like them. The animal katsinas are the Hopi's closest neighbors and are always willing to assist if approached in a proper manner and asked for help. When prayer feathers and meal are not given they often withdraw until proper behavior is forthcoming. The animal katsinas thus represent the relationship present between the Hopi and the katsina spirits which some may compare to true friendship on the human level. It involves an exchange of special favors in their interaction, accompanied by an exchange of respectful gestures. [Wright, 1977:99]

What is a Kachina?

Condition: good condition with some paint abrasions, minor crack on the back of the kilt, and a wood chip off the back left moccasin. None of these distract from this charming katsina doll.

Provenance: this Hopi Mosairu Katsina, Buffalo Katsina Doll is from the collection of a client from California

Reference: Wright, Barton. Hopi Kachinas: The Complete Guide to Collecting Kachina Dolls

TAGS: Katsina DollsHopi PuebloHopi Kachina Dolls

Alternate close-up view of the face of this Katsina doll.

Once Known Native American Carver
C4725i-kachina2.jpgC4725i-large2.jpg Click on image to view larger.