Hopi Kachinas Zuni Kachinas

Some of the most popular collectibles today are Kachina dolls, also spelled katsina. The carved wood figures were intended to be teaching aids (rather than toys) to introduce young people to the attributes of the kachina they represent. Aside from the Hopi, the Zuni and Pueblo tribes also traditionally carved kachinas and still carve today. Each pueblo had individual characteristics that made it possible to tell their kachinas apart: Hopi kachinas were generally made out of a single piece of wood, with the arms of the earliest pieces close to the body. The Zuni kachinas usually had articulated arms and wore clothing. Pueblo dolls generally had the simplest design made out of flat pieces of wood with the face and arms painted on instead of carved. When railroads made their way across the Southwest in the 1880s, Hopi and Zuni carvers began making dolls to sell to the influx of tourists in addition to the ones they crafted for their own use. Kachina carving traditions exist today, with contemporary Hopi and Zuni artists taking the art form to new heights.

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