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The proper pronunciation, spelling for “Kachina” dolls as most people know them is really Katsina.  The figures are given as ceremonial gifts to young girls by the Katsinam. This particular photo was captured at the Heard Museum via protective glass – the reason photo is not clear.

kachina doll hear museum

Figures are presented as ceremonial gifts to young girls and each gift is a symbol of prayer and wish for good health, growth and fertility.  Figures are carved from cottonwood; all dolls are painted and decorated to accurately depict important features of a specific Katsina.