The Kachina Doll...
The dolls are carved from cottonwood root. The cottonwood is a symbol itself of being able to seek out moisture, especially important to desert farmers! It is light, sturdy, and a great wood for carving. The carver refines the piece of wood more and more. When it's finished, the doll is painted by hand with traditional colors identifiable to a particular Kachina spirit. Hopi Kachina carving is a very big part of their current and past culture and the carvers are an important part of their religious structure.
Painted and dressed to resemble a particular spirit, these dolls were used to educate the children about the spirits in their daily lives and to appease that spirit during spiritual reflection. The younger children are given ti'hu' which is a flat Kachina, very closely resembling an actual Kachina, but not as intricate or fragile.

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