HOW ITS MADE
Kachina "dolls" are carved by Hopi men to be gifted to children and are tools for education. They represent deified ancestral spirits or personifications of plants, animals and events in the real world. They can represent many things but when hung in the home, serve to remind people of their presence. All Hopi kachina dolls are carved of cottonwood tree root which is porous and very lightweight. Most carvers use acrylic or oil paints and some use natural pigment as in the old traditions.
Baskets and fiber weaving are one the oldest crafts of the Hopi. Today there are three main types of baskets. The Second Mesa coil basket or "Bota". The Third Mesa women make wicker plaques or "Yungnyapu". Both third and second mesa women make sifter baskets.
Local clay is hand dug and processed by the potter. Once the pot has been constructed ,using the coil method, the pot is hand painted. The paints are derived from plants and clay slips. When the pot is fired the colors will emerge. Most potters still use dung to fire their pots. Once the the firing starts, a breeze can change the temperature of the flame. This can result in what are called "clouds" which are small dark areas on the pot. This is indicative of authenticity and is not a flaw. Today, most pottery is made by the people of First Mesa.