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White Ogre Tihu (Katsina Figure)

Hopi, White Ogre Tihu (Katsina Figure), c. 1900, cottonwood, pigment, cotton cloth, tanned leather, and metal, made in Arizona, United States, 47 × 15.2 × 17.8 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art); speaker: Brian Vallo, Director, Indian Arts Research Center School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico . Created by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Video transcript

VALLO: The Hopi tribe in Northeastern Arizona is known for the pottery-making tradition, but also the creation of carved wooden figures, also known as kachinas or katsina carvings, and they are gifted to children during ceremony as a blessing to the child for growth and prosperity and good health, and wisdom. The bulging eyes, the horns, the teeth, representative of a disciplinarian visiting the villages in Hopi to remind the children that they must be obedient, that they must respect elders, respect parents. Later on the tribe decided that they would begin creating similar carvings for sale to the public, and so these are highly collectible, and this particular white ogre katsina is likely to be have been one of those earlier pieces created for sale.