Katsinas are spirit beings who are the intermediaries between the Hopi and their deities, carrying the prayers of the Hopis for the continuation of the cycle of life of all living things. They may represent the spirit of plants, animals, forces of natures, places or even other tribes. Some are known for their duties (eg: guard, clown...) and not all names are translatable. They appear in the plazas for Hopi villages for approximately 6 months of the year as they dwell in the katsina or spirit world for the other half of the year.
They are carved from the root of the cottonwood tree - used because the cottonwood grows only where there is an ample and consistent supply of water - rare around the Hopi mesas - and because of the water-seeking nature of the roots, which can grow out and down a couple hundred feet or more in search of the water table. If you are interested in learning more, there are several books we can recommend to you (which we also sell).
Between our Santa Fe and Tucson stores we generally have somewhere between 300 and 400 katsinas so on our website we can only hope to show you a cross-section. Please contact us if you are looking for something specific that you do not see. We may have it or be able to acquire it for you.
Above is a Navan or Velvet Shirt katsina by Justice 'Juice" Tso. 13.25 inches high. $300. (SANTA FE)
This Anakchina or Longhair katsina is shown giving out food (roastred coran and piki) and presents (A Hahai Wuuhti flat doll). 15 inches high, not including the feather. By Nick Brokeshoulder. SOLD (SANTA FE)
Brendan Kayquoptewa brought these into our Santa Fe shop, but the first three are in Tucson.
left to to right: Sivutootovi, Palavitkuna or Red Skirt, Aya and Kwanitoa.
The Palavitkuna or Red Skirt and the Hemosona ( 2 and 3 in the top row) are $100 while the others are $80.All are between 6 and 7 inches high. Click on one for a larger image.
Wawarus or Runner katsinas encourrage running, which is an important part of Hopi rain-bringing ritual, with runners stationing themselves miles south of the village and then racing back, with the idea that their running would encourage the clouds or cloud people to race back with them, bringing the rain. Runner katsinas will often challenge a young Hopi to a race during the dances. If the young man wins, he is rewarded with a basketry plaque that he presents to a female relative. If he loses his fate is in the hands of the particular katsina who wants to encourage him to be a better runner
A Second Mesa variation of the Saviki katsina, carved by Justice 'Juice' Tso. 13.25 inches high. SOLD (SANTA FE)
Also called Tsanu. he is one of the mong or ‘chief’ katsinas and is regarded as the wuya of the Tsuyom or Snake Clan in some villages while in others he is one of the four guardians of the Palölökong or Water Serpent.
This Qöqöle was made by Craig Grover. It stands 10.5"tall. $135. (TUCSON)
This Sipikne is by Ryan Gashweseoma. It stands 8 5/8" high, not including the base. $260. (SANTA FE)
An Omaw or Cloud katsina by Randy Howato. It stands 11 3/8" high and is $400. (SANTA FE)
By Nick Brokeshoulder. This represents the Mosayru of Buffalo Dancer. The Buffalo Dance, with pairs of male and female dancers ossur in Winter to encourage more of the valuable winter moisture that makes for a successful planting season. 16.5 inches high. SOLD (SANTA FE)
Above is a Qöqölö katsina by Randy Brokeshoulder. 10.25 inches high. $320. (SANTA FE)
A Pang or Black Ram katsina by Jared Quamahongnewa. 16.5 to the very tip of the feather (otherwise 11.5 inches. $300. (TUCSON)
If you lose a footrace to the Wikchina or Greasy Hand katsina, your clothes will be smeared with the grease and soot this runner gets from wiping his hands along the insides of chimney pipes. 12.5 inches high. $250 (SANTA FE)
A large Nata'aska by Randy Brokeshoulder. 18 inches high. $500. (SANTA FE)
An Anakchin Mana or Long Hair Maiden. She often accompanies the Long Hair. By Randy Brokeshoulder. 14.25 inches high, not including the feathers. $425. (SANTA FE)
A Soyok Mana by Lenno Polingyumptewa. 11.25" high and $425. (SANTA FE)
Randy Howato carved this Kuwan Heheya - which appeared this past July at Musangnovi Village during the Niman Ceremony. In his left hand he carries a planting hoe. 12 inches high. $425 (SANTA FE)
By Randy Brokeshoulder, this Ye'ivitshai katsina is 11 inches high. $275. (SANTA FE)
A 28 inch tall Hemis by Nick Brokeshoulder. Here he appears as he does during the Niman Ceremony, with presents to be handed out. $650. (TUCSON)