Hahay-i wu-uti (Grandmother) Katsina Holding a Turkey by Prinston Collateta, Hopi
Grandmother Katsina Holding a Turkey by Prinston Collateta, Hopi cottonwood, pigment 6.25" tall x 3.5" wide x 3.5" deep
Native American cultures treat elders with a great deal of respect. Those who have lived longer are looked on as wise souls and indispensable communicators of tribal traditions and customs. For the Hopi, the Grandmother Katsina is among the most cherished, “The Mother of all Katsinam” (a title she shares with Crow Mother).
Grandmother Katsina could be thought of as the Mother Earth of the Hopi people. Her Hopi name isHahay-i wu-uti, which translates into “pour water woman.” In many paintings and carvings she is shown pouring water out of a gourd from one hand. This represents the pouring of life around the world. In her other hand, the Grandmother Katsina is often holding an ear of corn, a symbol of the nourishment she provides to all beings.
Grandmother Katsina is featured in some of the most important Hopi ceremonies, including the Water Serpent and the Bean Dance (Powamuya). In the Water Serpent Ceremony, she serves as the main participant. Her unforgettable appearance is augmented by her tendency to speak a great deal, in a loud, high-pitched voice. Her specific purpose varies between ceremonies. In some, she demands to be fed by villagers; in others she provides food to children, blessing them with water.
Grandmother Katsina is the wife ofEototothe chief of all Katsinam. She augments his authority, providing a female role. Her children are the monsters, theNataskas, over whom she holds strict and demanding authority.
Prinston Collateta, “Drumming Boy”, was born in 1981. He is half Hopi-Tewa, part Navajo and Jemez Pueblo. He is a member of the Sun Clan and Eagle Clan. Prinston began sculpting at the age of 7. He learned the art of sculpting on wood from his father, Tom Collateta, Sr., and many other artists. Prinston has found he becomes more inspired when he receives compliments on his carvings. The encouragement makes him want to continue to perfect his dolls even more.
Prinston specializes in hand carving Hopi kachina dolls from scratch. He carves his kachinas from cottonwood. The dolls are carved with an ordinary pocket knife. He studies the wood and then lets his imagination take over. He enjoys carving full bodied dolls like Eagle dancers and Sun Face Kachinas the most because they represent his clans.