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Katsina in Hopi Life

Autry National Center

Jun 29 — Jun 23, 2013

The Hopi consider the Katsinam (plural of Katsina) spiritual beings and divine messengers who deliver the people’s prayers to the higher power. There are many kinds of Katsinam, representing all aspects of life including various animals, elements, food or other Native cultures. They manifest in physical form when visiting the Hopi people during six months of the year (February-July).  Katsina spirits make and give Hopi girls miniature carved likenesses of themselves (a Katsina doll is called a tihu).

The exhibition is drawn from more than 700 Katsina dolls in the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, considered one of the finest of its kind. On display are some 180 dolls that, along with storytelling, audio and video, provide cultural context and help explain the relationship between the Katsinam and Hopi People.

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