Navajo Pottery

The Sunface Katsina, known as Tawa, represents many things including the sun’s warmth, hope of shelter for the elderly, and a bright future full of playfulness for the young. The sun is also essential for the growth of crops.

The Sunface Katsinam sometimes appears with the Morning Singer Katsinam in welcoming the sun as it rises above the horizon. This group will stand on housetops to perform their rituals. The Sunface Katsina also appears in winter dance ceremonies to pray for the Sun’s speedy return and in the Mixed Dances to celebrate his warmth and light.

The coloration of the Sunface Katsina mask is important. The top half of the mask represents the colors that appear at first light; the lower half of the mask represents the colors of the full sun after it has risen.

The Sunface Katsina, like many of the Hopi Katsinam, represents a celestial body that the Hopi use as a guide for when to plant their very important life-sustaining crops. Without the light and warmth that the Sun radiates all would perish.

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