This style of work began to evolve around 1970 and was accelerated when Hopis were not allowed to sell katsinas that had migratory bird feathers - not even of those birds which could be legally hunted, like ducks. While some carvers worked with grouse, pheasant and pigeon feathers, others found a receptive audience for carved wooden feathers, which were not susceptible to damage from moths and crickets. In time very highly detailed work emerged, along with the concept of 'one piece carvings' - dolls which were carved without anything being carved separately and added on. (the problem is that cottonwood root is soft and carving an arm out across the grain was structurally unsound)
In any event, while a return to the older style carving has diminished the number of carvings working in this style, many still do (and many carve both styles).
A wonderfully detailed Kwaakatsina - Eagle katsina by Brendan Kayquoptewa. 14.5 inches high. $1600 (SANTA FE)
At 13 inches high this Soyok Wuhti is an impressive carving. Carved by award-winning carver Jimmie G Honanie in 1989, this came out of a local collection. $1600. (SANTA FE)
Angwusanomtaqa or Crow Mother by Brandon Kayquoptewa. 10.25 inches high. $1275 (TUCSON)
A Natukvika in his role as a Hapota or drmmer. Carved by the late Brian Honyouti. 9 inches high. $1600.
Named for a type of fly, this katsina usually carries a Hopi throwing stick that is used in hunting rabbits. The dots on the mask represent the constellations we know as the Big Dipper and the Pleiades. The katsina appears in pairs at the beginning of the katsina year as a part of a ritual designed to insure fertility – specifically the continuation or renewal of the life cycle.
An Anakchina, by Raynard Nasingoitewa, carved in 2001. 11 inches high. $875. (TUCSON)
A Mastok katsina carved by Ernest Chappella in 1984. 10.5 inches high. $1200. (SANTA FE)