Congregated on more than 1.5 million acres in northern Arizona, the Hopi people have carried their centuries-long tradition of craftsmanship into the modern day. The Native American tribe is renowned for striking ceramics and carved, painted cottonwood dolls, known as katsina, which depict the friendly, sacred beings central to their beliefs.
Despite the artistic license taken by most Hopi potters, the tribe’s tradition of spiritual connection to the earth is apparent in its craftsmanship, which shows off vibrant color and intricate design. “A Spotlight on Contemporary Hopi Ceramicists and Katsina Doll Carvers,” on view at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, highlights the work of 28 ceramicists and nine katsina carvers.
Tiny geometric shapes compose a larger, more telling picture on the pottery while fine facial features and expressive elements lend character to the katsina. The spiritual artwork is a revered family tradition, making the creative process very intimate. The exhibition, which complements an important ongoing show at the museum displaying Hopi ceramics that span six centuries, continues through late November.