Palhikmana

CULTURE:
Hopi
DATE:
probably 1920s
more object details

General Description

For the Hopi, the word kachina (katsina) refers to three distinct but related entities: the invisible spirits who are an essential part of Hopi life, the personification of those spirits in ceremonial dances, and the carved and decorated dolls that the kachinas give to infants and women. Kachinas serve as intermediaries between the supernatural and human realms. They are generally bringers of clouds, rain, and all good things.

Kachinas (katsinam) present themselves in our world for the annual period falling just after the winter solstice and concluding after the summer solstice. For the remainder of the year, these ancestral spirits occupy an underworld accessed through the sipapu, or vertical entranceway.

This unusually large kachina (katsina) doll depicts Palhik Mana, or water-drinking girl. The most distinctive feature here is the elaborate headdress, which is adorned with symbols of clouds and lightning. In this representation, Palhik Mana wears a traditional black dress, belt, mantle, and calf-high boots.

Adapted from

  • Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, Gallery text [Kachina (katsina)], 2018.

  • Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, Label text, 2018.