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Tala-wipiki, Lightning katsina doll

 

Height: 28.500 cm

Received in exchange with the Smithsonian Institution, 1891

AOA 1891.6-12.24

Room 26: North America

    Tala-wipiki, Lightning katsina doll

    Hopi, 19th century
    From New Mexico, North America

    Katsina are benevolent spirits, who live among the Hopi during the winter and first part of the year. In this case they relate to the benefits of rain in an arid climate. Dolls like this are their physical embodiment, and are given to children as rewards for good behaviour. Lightning is associated with rain and may therefore be considered benevolent.

    J.C.H. King, First peoples, first contacts: (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)

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    On display: Room 26: North America