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Human Creativity: Kachina Dolls

Human Creativity Presentation on Kachina Dolls for Cultural Anthropology 102

Trevor Gill

on 4 May 2014

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Transcript of Human Creativity: Kachina Dolls

First documented discovery by Spaniards - 1500's
Three main functions of kachina dolls
Kachina Doll Making
1.) Ceremonial Function
Southwestern United States
What Kachina dolls mean to the Hopi People...
FUNCTIONS of kachina dolls
How the kachina doll art form reflects the cultural values, ideas and norms of the Hopi People...
Three Aspects of the Kachina:
The Hopi people are located in northeastern Arizona (approximately a 2 hour drive from Flagstaff).
Hopi Pueblos are situated on four mesa tops: First Mesa, Second Mesa, Third Mesa, & Antelope Mesa (Simpson 1971:6).
Mesa tops are generally at or near an elevation of 7,000 ft above sea level (Simpson 1971:6).
Terrain consists of sandy valleys, rocky mesas and vast expanses.
Agriculture and farming consist mostly of maize (corn) and squash (Simpson 1971:50).
Climate ranges from sweltering heat during summer days to snowy winter months

Hopi people
References Cited:
Hopi people are descendents of ancient Pueblo Indians (Colton 1959:1).
Primarily live on Hopi reservation in Northeastern Arizona (Colton 1959:3).
Constructed large, apartment like structures in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado (Simpson 1971:3).
Lived along Mogollon Rim for 200 years after abandoning villages (Simpson 1971:5).
Hopi language is related linguistically to Shoshonean, Ute, Comanche, and Aztecan, just to name a few (Simpson 1971:7).
Presentation by: Trevor Gill
ANT 102 - Artistic Expression and Culture Module
Kachina Dolls

(Hopi katsina figures)
"A Hopi girl grinding corn, Arizona" (1909): Image Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed February 4, 2014).
Colton, Harold S.
1959 Hopi Kachina Dolls. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

Simpson, Ruth D.
1971 The Hopi Indians. Los Angeles, CA: Southwest Museum.
Spanish explorers first reported seeing kachina carvings in the 1500's.
First illustrated report on Hopi kachinas came in 1894 from J. Walter Fewkes (Colton 1959:1).
Popularity grew after Fewke's report and since the late 1800's kachinas have been treasured by many collectors (Colton 1959:3).
"Dancers' Rock, Walpi, Arizona, part of a Hopi pueblo." (1879.): Image Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed February 5, 2014).
Navajo-Hopi Map. Bard Center for Environmental Policy. N.d. http://blogs.bard.edu/cepblog/files/2012/05/navajo-map.jpg
"A Hopi kachina silver figure, which represents a dancer who invokes an ancestral spirit." (1980): Image Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed February 4, 2014).
2.) Educational Function
3.) Income Function
Since the late 1800's kachina dolls have served the function of providing income for Hopi people. Kachina dolls are sold to collectors and tourists.
Kachina dolls have served an educational purpose for Hopi people for centuries. From teaching children lessons to passing on cultural stories about supernatural beings (Kachinas) (Colton 1959:2-3).
Kachina dolls are used during Hopi Ceremonial functions. Before or during the ceremony or dance, the kachina dolls are handed out by the Kachinas to children. These dolls are used to pass on cultural teachings and used as a part of religious training (Colton 1959:2-4).
Kachina doll meanings depend completely upon the supernatural being, or "Kachina" that they represent (Colton 1959:3).
1.) Supernatural Meaning:
3.) Religious Meaning:
Kachina dolls are given to children as objects to be respected and studied, not played with. Kachina dolls are used as a part of religious training for children (Colton 1959:8).
The supernatural being (as it exists in the mind of the Hopi people) (Colton 1959:2)
Trevor Gill (2014).
Trevor Gill (2014).
1.) The Kachina:
The masked impersonator of the supernatural being (participates in dances & ceremonies)(Colton 1959:3).
2.) The Impersonator:
The small kachina dolls themselves - carved in likeness to represent the supernatural being (Colton 1959:4).
3.) The Kachina Doll:
The art form of kachina dolls serve many purposes for the Hopi people and their culture. Kachina dolls help to represent and illustrate the supernatural beings that the Hopi believe in - giving the art form a strong religious purpose. Kachina dolls are an integral part of the Hopi belief system and greatly reflect upon their religious practices, beliefs, and teachings. Kachina dolls reflect cultural norms for the Hopi people in that they signify a passage of religious and cultural teachings from one generation to the next. Kachina dolls are a purposeful art form that can give great insight into the culture of the Hopi people.
Trevor Gill (2014).
Trevor Gill (2014).
Trevor Gill (2014).
Kachina dolls are carved from the dried roots of dead cottonwood trees which is sourced from local washes near the Hopi mesas or Little Colorado River (Colton 1959:9).
Tools used include: a penknife, a chisel, a wood rasp, and a piece of sandstone (Colton 1959:9).
The doll is whittled into shape using the penknife tool, then smoothed with the wood rasp, and finally sanded with the sandstone (Colton 1959:10).
After carving is completed, accessories are added and the doll is painted - finishing touches may include brightly colored bird feathers (Colton 1959:11).
Trevor Gill (2014).
Full transcript