Badger (Honan) Katsina. Cottonwood root, mineral and vegetal pigments, feathers. Carver unknown (called “Chief”) from Hopi Pueblo. Early 20th century. Oraibi, Arizona. Ethnology Division. UMMAA 13936.

In 1932, Volney Jones brought this Katsina (also Kachina) doll, along with other items, back to the Museum following a UMMAA expedition. Jones purchased the doll from a Katsina carver (who he called “Chief”) at the Hopi village of Oraibi in northeastern Arizona. Although crafted for the tourist trade, it is a good example of the Hopi Katsina tradition. Katsinam (pl.) are spiritual beings who visit Hopi villages during six months of the year, bringing rain, healing, gifts, blessings, and, if needed, discipline. There are more than 250 Hopi Katsinam, representing many diverse aspects of life. Dolls are given to girls during ceremonies to help them learn the names and roles of different Katsinam. This doll is a badger (Honan) Katsina. The badger is known for his knowledge of medicinal plants and healing and as a messenger for rain.

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In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.