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 is one of the Warrior Twins – Pöqangw brothers - grandsons of Spiderwoman. The other is known as Pöökhonghoya.20.5 inches high. $360. (SANTA FE)
Above is a Hootsani katsina, carved by Randy Brokeshoulder. An abrupt turn in the cottonwood root dictated the unusual position of the feet.16 inches high. $300. (SANTA FE)
Brandon Kayquoptewa brought these into our Santa Fe shop, but several will shortly head to Tucson. Details in a day or so, but for details now, call our Santa Fe shop - 505.983.4542.
The Palavitkuna or Red Skirt and the Hemosona (bottom right) are $100 while the others are $80. Most are between 6 and 7 inches high.
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
Randy Brokeshoulder carved this very unusual Tewa whipper katsina called a Wong-Pin in Tewa and Silafnoingtaqa in Hopi. Just over 9 inches high. SOLD (TUCSON)
Hilili by Lloyd Honghongva. It stands 15 inches high and is $350. (TUCSON)
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. He is 13.25 inches high and $330. (SANTA FE)
At left is a Kuwan Kookopölö by Tayron Polequaptewa.9 inches high. $240
Tayron also made the Huru-ing Wuuhti or Cold Bringing Woman above. 8.25 inches high. $240
(BOTH IN SANTA FE)
The Tsiitoto or Tobacco Flower above was carved by Randy Brokeshoulder. 12 inches high and SOLD. The Nuvaktsinaman or Snow Maiden at left was made by Craig Grover. She stands 8.5 inches high and is $275. (BOTH IN TUCSON)
This Zuni Warrior katsina (Sipikne/Salimobia) was carved by Ryan Gashweseoma. His black masks associates him with the north, 8.75 inches high, not including the base. $260. (SANTA FE)
Above is a is a Lightning Longhair or Talwip’angaktsina, also by Ryan. 9.75 inches high. $240. (SANTA FE)
A Turtle or Yöngöksina by Eric Kayquoptewa. 9 inches high. SOLD. (SANTA FE)
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)
This Qöqöle was made by Craig Grover. It stands 10.5"tall. $135. (TUCSON)
Above is a Morivosi katsina by Randy Brokeshoulder. 13.5 inches to the top of the red feathers. Properly known as Morivosi (mis-spelled in many books on katsinas as “Muzribi”) It is a said to represent the spirit of all the many varieties of beans planted by the Hopi. $275. (SANTA FE)
Nick Brokeshoulder has been busy - his son Randy just brought in these three wawarus or Runner katsinas at left and below.
Running is also a 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
This is the Sikya Matya or Ywllow Hand katsina. 14 inches high. SOLD. (SANTA FE)
An Anakchin Mana or Long Hair Maiden. She often accompanies the Long Hair seen at right. By Randy Brokeshoulder. 14.25 inches high, not including the feathers. $425. (SANTA FE)
A Hahai'i Wuuhti by Jared Quamahongnewa. 9 inches high and $150. (SANTA FE)
A Soyok Mana by Lenno Polingyumptewa. (SANTA FE)
A Nakyatsop by Nick Brokeshoulder. 17 inches high SOLD. (SANTA FE)
By Randy Brokeshoulder, this Ye'ivitshai katsina is 11 inches high. $275. (SANTA FE)
A Qötsa Hon or White Bear katsina by Nick Brokeshoulder. 12.5 inches high. $240 (SANTA FE)
Randy Howato carved this Kuwan Heheya - which appeared this past July at Musangnovi Village during the Niman Ceremony. In his right hand he carries a planting hoe. 12 inches high. $425 (SANTA FE)
An Anakchina or Long Hair katsina, representing the nurturing summer rains. By Randy Brokeshoulder. 14.5 inches high and SOLD. (SANTA FE)
A Hilili by Brendan Kayquoptewa. 13 inches high. $280. (SANTA FE)
A Crow Mother carved by Sandra Suhu, the most talented Hopi woman carver. 11.5 inches high & $325 (SANTA FE)
Maasaw, by Randy Brokeshoulder. 13 inches high. $270. (SANTA FE)
Pronounced mah sah’u, is the powerful and important personage associated with the underworld, or more accurately, the spirit world where one’s spirit returns after death. Maasaw is also the being who gave the Hopi the land that is now their home.
A Soyok Wuuhti carved by Nick Brokeshoulder, she stands 13 inches high. SOLD (SANTA FE)
A Kuwan Patsok or fancy Cockleburr katsina, by Gene Lalo. 9 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)
A Kowaako Mana or Chicken Maiden by Nick Brokeshoulder. 12 inches high. $275. (SANTA FE)
A Qöqöle katsina by Randy Brokeshoulder. 11.25 inches high. $300. (SANTA FE)