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Identifying Kachina Dolls Values & Meanings Guide

Presented to purify the women who grind corn for ceremonies. Its presence represents great power, and is used in prayers to cure the sick. This is a short list of some of the most popular Kachina dolls and their historical meanings. Many times, Kachinas have been given to others as gifts for celebrations or accomplishments. We’ve included a list of events or people that the Kachina may be a good match for, but any Kachina is beautiful and can be appreciated as a gift to another or to one’s self. The doll is not only a symbol of the kachina doll, but also a symbol of the doll.

During the Late Traditional Period subtle changes began to take place towards the creation of more realistic–looking figures. They were more proportional and the carving and painting was much more detailed. Eastern tourist attraction to the Hopi reservation increased in popularity from 1910–1920 due to the increased interest in Native American culture. The elders restricted the tourists merida magiclip doll from seeing the religious Kachina ceremonies, and consequently there was a notable decline in figures carving for commercial purposes. The Kachina Dolls are of great value to many of us who dedicate the time to collecting them. Their history and symbolism are enriching and attractive; that is why I will talk a little bit about it, as well as some tips for identifying the Kachina dolls.

The most valuable figures are made from a single piece of wood; signs of glue on the figure indicate a poorly-carved figure. The price will usually reflect the quality, so if a figure seems inexpensive, there is a good possibility it is not a true Hopi kachina figure. Figures are portrayed with accessories including hand rattles made from gourds, bows and arrows, branches of Douglas fir, staffs, scissors, crooks with children, and colored corn. Sometimes, to hide the space between the body and the mask, ruffs made of fox skin, juniper branches, Douglas fir, or cloth will be worn.

They dug irrigation canals to bring water to their crops. Buy what you can live with, what you like looking at. It should speak to you and be aesthetically appealing. Even though I’m a dealer, I don’t ever buy a katsina I don’t like because I might live with it for a week or I might live with it for 10 years if it’s in my inventory. I’m surrounded by these spirit beings and I like looking at them every day. My all-time favorite katsina carver is Wilson Tawaquaptewa, whom I’ve written a couple of articles about.

It makes no difference whether it is the first kachina doll ever created or not. Then there are the Putstihu taywa’yla, which are designed for toddlers. They have fully carved facial features and are cylindrical in shape. The type of wood used in carving the doll is the most crucial feature to look at to determine if it is authentic. Heluta is considered the father of the Kachinas and is widely recognized as the creator of deer.

These helped children learn the important traditions and beliefs of the group. For some group celebrations, dancers dressed as kachinas. They preformed special dances meant to call forth the kachinas into the presence of the group.

The old ones generally do that, and some contemporary ones do as well. I look for some sort of artistic oomph and some sort of spiritual presence. Like all other cultures, the Hopi also had theories and opinions on death and the underworld. They called the ruler of the underworld the “Macau Kachina”. However, this Kachina symbolic meaning also reigned over the Earth, as well. As protector and controller of the world, this spirit governed the arrival of all other Kachinas, which made their presence known during the summer and winter solstices.

The katsinas are known to be the spirits of deities, natural elements or animals, or the deceased ancestors of the Hopi. Prior to each katsina ceremony, the men of the village will spend days studiously making figures in the likeness of the katsinam represented in that particular ceremony. The figures are then passed on to the daughters of the village by the Giver Kachina during the ceremony.