The volume is designed as a standard reference and provides biographical information on 1,623 Hopi Katsina carvers from 1840 to the present. The alphabetical listings allow one to look up individual artists quickly and easily. We hope everyone interested in Hopi Katsina dolls will find this easy reference to be helpful.
The word "Katsina" was formerly spelled "Kachina" or "Katcina." The term has three main interpretations:
1. A "spiritual friend" - Over 300 spirit beings with individual names, personal characteristics, and songs.
2. A "spiritual dancer" - Members of a religious society of ceremonial rainmakers who appear each year before the spring purification and planting ceremony (Powowmuy) and return home after the autumn harvest dance (Niman).
3. A "type of carved doll" - also called tihu, a term that extends to a child sponsored for initiation into the Katsina Society.