Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Koshari, the Clown Katsina

This photo was taken in Sedona, AZ. The figures on top of the building are reproductions of Hopi Katsina dolls, in this case the Koshari or Clown Katsina. The carving of Katsina dolls by the Hopi tribe goes back into prehistory. Traditionally carved from cottonwood root, Katsina dolls are representations of the Hopi gods called Katsinom (pl.) who are believed to live atop the San Francisco Peaks. The dolls are used to tell stories about the Katsinom and pass on the Hopi religious tradition to the children. There are over 250 different Katsinom each of which represents a different characteristic. In this case, the Koshari is a joker and trickster and represents the entertainer of the Katsina group. To learn more about the Hopi and the Katsina tradition click here, here and here.

One of our Katsina dolls

1 comment:

simon kutcher said...

Is there any relevance that a gas station would need the Hopi "joker" on its roof?