The Coast News Group

Expert shares Hopi artifacts

RANCHO SANTA FE — Native American expert James Kemp will discuss “Kachina Dolls and Dances” from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society, 6036 La Flecha.

The katsina figures, also known as kachina dolls, were carved typically from cottonwood root by the Hopi people to instruct young girls and new brides about the katsinas, the immortal beings that bring rain, control the forces of nature, and act as messengers between humans and the spirit world. Hopi people live primarily on three mesas in Northeastern Arizona some 70 miles from Flagstaff. Most kachina figures originated in the late 19th century and changed in style over time. Kemp will bring some of the kachina dolls in his collection, as well as some pottery.

Kemp, a resident of Julian and a retired clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego, department of pediatrics, became fascinated with the Native American culture after moving to the southwest from the east coast.

“I found a wealth of cultures only a day or two drive from San Diego,” he said.

Tickets are $15 for members ard $20 for non-members. Advance registration is required by calling Sharon Alix at (858) 756-9291, at the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society Tuesday through Thursday.