The Hopi Clown Katsina
Guest Blogger: Zachary Rea
Neil David is an internationally known Hopi artist who is famous for his clown katsina carvings. On display at Discovery Park of America in the Native Americans Gallery are eight Katsina dolls, one of which is a clown katsina carved by Neil David. A Katsina doll is a carved representation of the Katsinam who, according to Pueblo Indian mythology, are spirit messengers of the universe sent to bring wisdom to the Hopi tribes people. The clown represents the Hopi people, and through exaggerated actions it teaches children what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Each of Neil David’s clown katsina carvings is unique with its own personality and style. Through the carvings of the Katsina, Neil David gives outsiders a glimpse of the Hopi Indian life.