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.
Randy Brokeshoulder's Butterfly Maiden was awarded Second Prize at the recent Heard Museum Fair. This one is 17" high and the tablita measures 13.25 inches across. $1275 (SANTA FE)
A Kuwan Heheya by Randy Brokeshoulder. 11.25 inches high and $325. (SANTA FE)
An Isöö or Mustard katsina by Randy Brokeshoulder. 13.75 inches high to the tips of the feathers.. $300 . (SANTA FE)
At right is a variety of Hu katsina (one of the Whipper katsinas) that appears only at Old Orayvi on Third Mesa. By Nick Brokeshoulder, it stands16.5 inches high and is $250.
Also by Makwesa, an Umtoynaqa katsina. $270. (in SANTA FE by Wednesday the 7th)
This Yöngöksina or Turtle represents the spirit of the tortoise. The name for tortoise in Hopi is yöyöngsöna, which literally means cactus-fruit-lover.. 14.25 inches high. $250. By Nick Brokeshoulder. (SANTA FE)
Brendan Kayquoptewa brought these into our Santa Fe shop, but the first three are in Tucson.
left to to right: Palavitkuna or Red Skirt, Hemson and Kwanitoa.
The Palavitkuna or Red Skirt and the Hemosona ( 2 and 3 in the row) are $100 .The Kwanitoa is is $80.
All but the Kwanitoa are in Tucson.
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
Wayland Namingha carved this Omaw or Cloud katsina. 14.5 inches high. $350. (TUCSON)
Carved by Earl ‘Dino’ Patterson (Sunaweuma) of the Roadrunner and Greasewood Clans from the village of Kykotsmovi, this Yot.se’e katsina represents the spirit of the Apache people while some Hopi say he represents the Paiute people and is called Paiutsi. Just under 24 inches high. SOLD (SANTA FE)
Randy Brokeshoulder carved this Owangaroro. He is one of the so-called “Mad” katsinas. He is regarded as dangerous and must be lead around at rope’s length by a Mudhead. It is said that if rocks are thrown at him he will catch and eat the rocks. At Second Mesa he sometime acts as a guard katsina. 13 3/8inches high. $330. (SANTA FE)
This Qöqöle was made by Craig Grover. It stands 10.5"tall. $135. (TUCSON)
An Omaw or Cloud katsina by Randy Howato. It stands 11 3/8" high and is $400. (SANTA FE)
He goes by a number of names - his Hopi name is Sooya’ytaqa or Planting Stick Boy, which also more accurately reflects his actions – a poking motion he makes when he dances, holding a wooden hoop in his left hand a multi-colored stick in the other. He has also been called a Laguna Gambler katsina in some Anglo-written texts, but the origin of that misnomer is unknown. Another nickname given him is Koyung Taqa or Turkey Boy because of the fan of turkey feathers.. There are several types of corn katsinas, which is appropriate considering that they grow many types of corn, including red, yellow, white and blue. Corn is prepared in many ways – fried, dried, popped, parched, baked, boiled, ground and reconstituted. Corn katsinas represent the spirit of the corn plant, which provides life for the Hopi. 16.25 inches high. $250 (SANTA FE)
Above is a Qöqölö katsina by Randy Brokeshoulder. 10.25 inches high. SOLD (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 Frog katsina by Lloyd Honhongva.7 inches high.$185 (TUCSON)
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)
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)