Selling the Indian Other: The Commodification of Hopi Katsinam Spirit Figures Open Access

Tan, Xiao (2016)

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This thesis examines the religious and the commercial aspects of the selling, making, and displaying of Katsinam, spiritual beings that are key elements in the Hopi's ceremonial life. When analyzing the commodification of Katsinam figures (also called tihu), I shall take an interdisciplinary approach by weaving the art historical, historical, religious, and economic evidence together to plumb the complexities of spirits in material form being transformed into commodities on the international art market. Ultimately, I will propose a change in economics as one of the solutions to the situation in which Native peoples are forced by their economic circumstances to sell their own Otherness through commoditizing sacred figures such as Katsinam.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter One: Hopi Culture and Religion 7

1.1. History of Hopi Culture 7

1.2. Importance of Katsinam Religion in Hopi Culture 9

1.2.1. Importance of tihu 12

1.2.2.The Contested Origins of Katsinam Religion 16

1.3. Debate over Sacredness 22

Chapter Two: Poverty--the Cause of All Tragedies 25

2.1. Setting the Stage for Future Disputes 27

2.2. A Pro-Capitalist Tribal 29

2.3. A Corrupted Tribal Government 33

Chapter Three: Economic Problems behind the Katsinam issues and Four Possible Development Directions 36

3.1. Agriculture 37

3.2. Manufacturing 42

3.3. Service Industry 48

3.4. Gaming 50

Conclusion 54

Bibliography 56

List of Figures 60

List of Tables 66

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