katsina

Katsinas are iconic objects of southwestern Native American art.  Traditionally carved from cottonwood root, the figurines (“dolls”) represent benevolent spirit-beings (katsinam). They are given to children not as toys, but as objects to be treasured and studied as part of their religious training.  (Also spelled kachina). Web resource here.

Fowler KachinaTaatangaya (hornet) katsina. Hopi peoples, Arizona. Late 20th century. Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles.