• Katsina or Kachina? Barry Walsh on the Spiritual Roots of Native American Dolls Katsinas are representations of spirit beings, so they should convey a certain amount of spirituality. The old ones generally do that, and some contemporary ones do as well. I look for some sort of artistic oomph and some sort of spiritual presence. And I’m a sucker for detail. I like it when a carver adds accoutrements such as a rattle, rasp, bow and arrow, or quiver, or if he takes time on the e…
  • Antique Dolls, from Wood and Wax to Kewpie We have a very small team here at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, so we all have to do lots of different things. I don’t look after all the dolls, but I oversee the collections. I do the waxes and the woodens. I’ve got colleagues who are in charge of the cloth ones and the plastic ones and the porcelain ones and so on. I used to do all of it. When Caroline Goodfellow took early retire…
  • Native American Jewelry Lowdown: The Story Behind Turquoise and Squash Blossoms Thanks to my father, I basically grew up involved with Indian arts and culture. He was a graduate of the University of New Mexico and wrote the first popular book on Southwest Indian arts and crafts. In the summer of 1949, he opened a little shop called Ghost Ranch Trading Post at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. That winter, he moved the shop to Tucson, Arizona. I started doing some of the buy…