Hopi Carvers Consultation and Public Presentation


This project was undertaken by graduate student Leon Natker as part of his fulfillment of the Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies. In order to establish a baseline for an emic interpretation of the Maxwell Museum’s Dorothy Maxwell Collection of Hopi katsinam tihu (katsina dolls), four consultants were invited to view the collection and offer comments and notes. They included Leigh Kuwanwiswma, Director of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office; Ramson Lomatewama, ritual leader and artist from the Third Mesa village of Hotevela; Randall Mahle, Sr., ritual leader from the First Mesa Hopi-Tewa village of Hano; and Joseph Day, who with his wife Janice owns the largest shop dealing with traditional Hopi Katsinas on Second Mesa. The consultants identified the tihu, corrected the orthography of their names according to the current Hopi dictionary, and provided information on the tihu to form the basis of an emic interpretation of the collection. This project also researched the origins of the katsina doll trade. /wiuth syuooirt  and the manufacture of tihu.

With support from the Ortiz Center and the Museum Studies Program, the consultants also provided a Maxwell Museum public program on August 24, 2017  addressing the history, current trends, and future of their tradition of Hopi katsina doll carving with reference to the Dorothy Maxwell collection.