From Library Journal
Kachina dolls, representing supernatural beings who act as emissaries to the spirits that control the natural forces of the Hopi world, were originally made for children as teaching tools. Today, they are popular items in Southwestern gift shops. As with the Inuit, the Hopi have found carving to be a matter of financial survival as well as an art form. In a readable, breezy style, Day, a second-generation trader to the Hopi, discusses the evolution of carving styles and gives a few rather obvious guidelines about buying them (caveat emptor, trust a trader). He then explores a new trend in carving kachinas through profiles of 19 current carvers who have gone back to the traditional stylesDcompact, symbolic, and totemicDof carving, painting, and ornamenting their dolls. The focus here is on the artists, their lives, and their work, with quotes from each. Day includes a map of Hopiland and a chart of the annual time frame of ceremonial dances but says nothing about the individual dances or the kachinas' symbolic meaning. This leaves the reader wondering what each illustrated doll represents and gives little insight into the whole religious fabric. The helpful appendixes cover museums, shops, and trading posts and also include a glossary and an annotated reading list (where you can find books on those ceremonies). A book for collectors of kachinas and libraries with extended Native American collections.DGay Neale, Meredithville, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.