Antique Hopi Katsinam
At Kachina House we carry a vast selection of Antique Hopi Katsinam, crafted and accented with natural materials we offer unique objects of art and craft.
We are proud to offer these beautiful older Katsinam from our collection. Many of the Katsinam offered in the collection no longer appear on the Mesas. These individual Katsinam have disappeared from contemporary culture and will most likely not be seen again performing their individual songs and dances.
These older Katsinam pre-date the enforcement of the Migratory Bird Act (1918) by the United States government which restricted the trading of feathers and other parts of predator and migratory birds. These Katsinam have been “updated” so they are legal for Kachina House to have and sell.
These figures are monumental in their stature and were a significant departure from the carvings of the time. The artists who carved these Katsinam were some of the first to put the dancers into action poses and to really show the musculature of these Pueblo dancers. These are wonderful examples of carvings from the “old days.” We hope you love them as much as we do.
There are hundreds of Katsinam, "personations" of supernatural beings, important animals and ancestors. The Katsinam live in the San Francisco Peaks (north of Flagstaff, AZ) and come to the Hopi villages in February. They stay in the villages until the end of July helping the Hopi people raise their crops, their children, and their spirits.
The Katsina dancers are men wearing masks--each of which represents a particular Katsina--and paint and feathered costumes. The adults in the village know that the Katsina dancers are actually men from the village, though Katsinam are still believed to have supernatural powers. The children believe they are seeing the actual Katsinam. Much of the value in these dances derives from instructing the young.The Katsina masks are clearly non-human, since Katsinam themselves are spirit beings. The shape, color, and appearance of the mask are important, and each Katsina is unique. Dolls are made to represent and honor the Katsinam and to help the children learn the differences between them.
Katsina dolls are an integral and cherished part of Hopi culture. These dolls are representations of the hundreds of Katsinam, or Hopi spirit guides. They descend from the mountains as the winter season wanes to help villagers tend to the fields, care for the children, and tackle any other tasks required to encourage the community and the land to flourish. The Katsinam stay through late July when the planting and growing seasons have ended. At that time they take their leave of the Hopi and return to their home in the mountains of Arizona.
During the time that the Katsinam are visiting the Hopi villages, numerous dances are held to both celebrate a particular natural event and remind the people of the significant presence of the Katsinam, and to help the children learn about these sacred beings and what each represents.
Katsinam are carved, with few exceptions, by men. These carvings, referred to as dolls, are carefully carved from the strong, light root of the cottonwood tree and then painted with the particular colors of the specific Katsina the doll represents.Kachina House carries beautiful, hand-carved Hopi Katsina dolls. Each doll is shaped and painted according to spiritual and cultural traditions that have been passed down through generations. The artists take pride in their work and are pleased not only to display it, but to be able to share a part of their culture with the world.
Kachina House is the largest distributor of Native American arts and crafts in Arizona. At our showroom/warehouse in Sedona, AZ, you will find more products on display than we can post on our website. Our products are high-quality and handcrafted; we pride ourselves on offering unique products and the best customer service. If you have questions, we urge you to call us toll free at 800-304-3290 or drop us an email. We always like to hear from our customers.
Click to read about the Hopi School
SHIPPING NOTE: All of our Hopi Katsinam are shipped via the United States Postal Service. Most are shipped using USPS Priority Mail. If we are shipping East of the Mississippi River we have found that USPS Express Mail may be the most economical as the Post Office does more "hand-holding" of these very fragile pieces.