Over the 4th of July weekend my mom took me to the Philbrook Museum in downtown Tulsa, where they have an exhibition of Hopi katsina dolls through September 6th. (I’d always known them as kachinas, but apparently “katsina” is closer to the correct pronunciation.)
I was always drawn to katsinas during our summer trips to New Mexico when I was a kid, and I’m still crazy about them. Their forms and colors are just so lively, and they’re all a little bit scary and a little bit funny. I like the idea of having deities that look like this.
The katsinas in this exhibition are all contemporary, and were made as art pieces by Hopi artists. I took pictures of just a few, the ones that most delighted me.
I love how this guy is wearing a sports jacket and pants. There’s something about him that reminds me of Japan, actually…
And this one definitely reminded me of something from a Hayao Miyazaki movie, particularly Spirited Away. I didn’t do a good job of documenting the artists responsible for each of these, but this one I know was made in 2009 by Hopi artist Wilmer Kaye (whose dolls you can find to purchase via that link). (Actually, I couldn’t resist and just purchased one myself!)
I’ve been taking some time this summer to make things out of clay, and I’m so glad I saw this exhibition when I did—it’s given me lots of ideas. (I’ll probably show a bit of what I’ve been up to soon.) If you can make it to Tulsa sometime in the next month or so, definitely check out this show!