X68.158 Tihu

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Tihu of Kooyemsi Katsina (Choral singer and drummer)
Artist: Grandfather of David Monongye
Hotevilla, Arizona
Wood, paint, bandana
H: 23.5 cm, W: 7.6 cm, D: 6.0 cm (H: 9.2 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 2.3 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase. X68.158


When young girls play with this particular figure, they are reminded of the Katsina spirit Kooyemsi, who is known to be a leader, clown, and singer. During the season called Kwiyamuya (around April), when Hopi peoples begin to plant their gardens and fields, Kooyemsi, as leader of the Racer Katsinam, challenges the village men and boys to footraces. He announces that the Racer Katsinam have brought blessings for a strong and healthy life and want to test the strength of the villagers.

Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006