Mixed Media Katsina Art Doll

02.27.2017

 

Traditionally, the katsina dolls come from the Hopi people of Arizona. They are typically wooden dolls representing of the katsinam, rainmaking messengers from the spirit world. They are known to visit the Hopi between winter solstice and the midsummer monsoon season. Legend claims that the katsinam once arrived in bodily form, but now they appear as the clouds bringing rain in the form of dancers at tribal ceremonies.

The katsina are not gods. They represent ideas and objects that define the Hopi worldview such as the sun, wind and rain; plants, animals and insects. They can even venerate important ancestors. Katsina clowns entertain the people and ogres to frighten children into good behavior. The Hopi do not worship the katsina, but they do offer them gifts to encourage new growth, plentiful rain and successful harvests. The Hopi live in a harsh natural environment and their survival depends on the kindness of the elements.

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