All groups of Pueblo people made Katsina dolls (commonly known as Kachina dolls), but those of the Hopi are most famous. Known as tihu in the Hopi language, the Katsina dolls were not playthings like dolls in the European tradition. Rather, they were religious objects with an educational and instructional purpose.

Carved from the root of the cottonwood tree, Katsina dolls were traditionally made by men and usually given to girls, especially those soon ready to marry. Katsinas were personifications of invisible spirits, not gods as much as ancestors who aided the Hopi, especially in their never-ending need for rain. The dolls contain part of the Katsinas’ power.

When a child received a doll, it would be hung prominently in his or her house. In more recent years, the dolls have also become a commodity made by Hopi craftsmen and sold to non-Natives.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Dollreference.com

Dollreference.com

This densely packed index of antique and vintage dolls claims to offer over 10,000 images of dolls from the 1800s … [read review or visit site]

First American Art

First American Art

The companion website to First American Art: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection of American Indian Art, which… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Dolls of the 50s

Vintage Dolls of the 50s

Rhonda Wilson's collection of 1950s dolls, organized by name (Ginny and friends, Littlest Angel and friends, etc.) … [read review or visit site]

Kaylees Korner of Collectible Dolls

Kaylees Korner of Collectible Dolls

Kaylee's extensive collection of vintage dolls from the 1930s to 90s. Click the balloons to browse. Though Kaylee s… [read review or visit site]

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions