Height: 28.500 cm
Received in exchange with the Smithsonian Institution, 1891
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)