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.
For each katsina we sell, we provide an information sheet similar to the ones above. (both of these have been sold)
A Kokosori or Solaawitsi by Larry Melendez of the Butterfly Clan. 11 inches high and $320. Sólàawitsi is a katsina the Hopi adopted and adapted from the Zuni, where he is known as Kokosori and called “Little Fire God” in English because at Zuni he carries a cedar bark torch when he appears at night during the Winter Salako ceremony. At Hopi he appears during the summer dances. In both cases he carries seeds for planting crops in a fawn skin on his back.
.An Anakchina or Long Hair, associated with the life-giving summer rains. 17 inches tall. $330. By Nick Brokeshoulder. (IN SANTA FE)
Nick Brokeshoulder carved this Sio Salako , 24 inches high. $360 (SANTA FE)
The Salako with the mudhead dancer (13 inches high) and the very tall (22.5 inches high) Salako directly above were both carved by Duane Dishta (1946-2011), who was better known later in life as a very fine painter. The one at upper left is $1100 and the other $1800. (SANTA FE)
A Snake Dance pair carved by Calvin Panteah - probably 1960s. 11 inches high. $875. (SANTA FE)
Talavay or Early Morning Katsina by Darwyn Puhuyaouama. 13.25 inches high and $300. Wakas or Cow Katsina by Larryn Masawytewa, 11.5 inches to feather tips and $325. (SANTA FE) A Badger of Raynard Lalo. 11.5 inches to the tip of the feathers. $280. (TUCSON) An Early Morning (Talavai’i) katsina by Augustine Mowa. 9.5 inches high. $280 (TUCSON)
A Cactus katsina by Raynard Lalo. 16 inches high. $450. (SANTA FE)
A Morivosi katsina, 12.5 inches high, by Raynard Lalo. $260 (SANTA FE)
Above is a Kwaamana or Eagle Maiden by Carl Nequatewa. 12 inches high. $200. (SANTA FE)
The Patzro - one of the tsiro or bird katsinas is by Nick Brokeshoulder, $250. Huru-ing Wuuhti or Cold Bringing Woman (12 inches high) SOLD and Hahay’iwuuhti (15" inches high to feather tips) also by Nick. $250. (ALL IN SANTA FE) A Yongötsina or Turtle katsina by Eric Kayquoptewa. 10 inches high, SOLD. (TUCSON)
A Kwaakatsina (Eagle katsina, by Sonny Secklestewa. 16 inch wingspan. 15 inches high. $360. (SANTA FE)
A wonderfully detailed Pookanghoya (one of the Twin War Gods) by Larryn Masawytewa. 10.5 inches tall. SOLD (SANTA FE)
Hakto - spirit of the forest and a katsina borrowed and adapted from the Zuni. By Nick Brokeshoulder. 12.5 inches high. SOLD. (SANTA FE)
A Yot.se'e or Apache katsina by Nick Brokeshoulder. 14 inches high. SOLD (SANTA FE)
A Yot.se'e Wuhti or Apache Woman katsina by Nick Brokeshoulder. 12 inches to the tip of her feather. $250 (SANTA FE)
A variety of Hu katsina (one of the Whipper katsinas) that appears only at Old Orayvi on Third Mesa. By Nick Brokeshoulder, it stands 16.5 inches high and is $300. (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)