Hopi Katsina dolls possess a great deal of cultural and religious beliefs within the symbolism being portrayed. However, the Kachina dolls produced by the Navajo Native Americans do not have any religious significance at all. Navajo Kachina Dolls have simply been created as a source of earning money for members of the Navajo tribe. However, this does not detract from the fact that these beautiful works of art have become quite valuable and popular to collectors. Although the Navajo Kachina artists have borrowed much of the symbolism from the Hopi and other Native American cultures, they have had more of a free hand to decorate and embellish their dolls. The difference between the Navajo version and the Hopi Katsinas can be very striking. Some of the fancier dolls are decorated with feathers, beadwork and a variety of colorful costumes and masks. Each one is handcrafted and painted by hand, and no two are exactly alike in color, feathers and attire. The Navajo Kachina Dolls are not carved from cottonwood roots as the Hopi do with their individually detailed Katsinas. Rather, the Navajo artisans use more abundant and stronger wood, and then machine work the parts and assemble them by hand. By doing it this way, they can produce more quantity in less time. After the dolls are assembled, they are hand painted and decorated with feathers and colorful clothing.
Please don’t think that this “mass producing” of the doll detracts from their collectibility. On the contrary, the Navajo Kachina dolls, embellished with bright colored beads, feathers and clothing are really quite amazing, and the meaning of the symbolism borrowed from the other cultures is fascinating. Affordability is another factor for the collector. By using this production method, the prices are quite low in comparison to the Hopi versions, thus bringing this type of a collectible down to the range that anyone can afford. You can view a collection of more than 50 beautiful Navajo Kachinas by clicking the image or this link – Navajo Kachinas.