Katsinas have been a prominent part of religion and daily life of the Hopi since prehistoric times, revering a cycle of supernatural and ancestral spirits which are necessary to maintain the harmony of the universe.
The Hopi have kept their Katsina religion intact for so long largely because of their isolation, and the privacy they have demanded for generations. The Katsinas in the exhibition are not ceremonial Katsinas; rather, they were carved by master craftsmen who earn a living from their art. These master craftsmen have created images which allow outsiders to admire and take part in the world of the Katsina, in a respectful way. The Katsina in this exhibition are from the museum’s permanent collection, all donated to the museum by former Katsina collectors.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website