Date of Award
Christina Kreps, Ph.D.
Hopi, Kachina, Katsina, Language, Museum
Museums collect and care for material culture, and, increasingly, intangible culture. This relatively new term for the folklore, music, dance, traditional practices, and language belonging to a group of people is gaining importance in international heritage management discourse. As one aspect of intangible cultural heritage, language is more relevant in museums than one might realize. Incorporating native languages into museum collections provides context and acts as appropriate museology, preserving indigenous descriptions of objects. Hopi katsina tihu are outstanding examples of objects that museums can re-contextualize with native terminology. Their deep connection to Hopi belief and ritual as well as their diverse origins are part of the etymology of katsina names, which can be inaccurate of simplified in museum catalogs. I consulted historic ethnographies and the Hopi Dictionary to create a database of Hopi katsina tihu names, demonstrating how museums might incorporate intangible heritage into their collections through language and etymological context.
Maxson, Rachel Elizabeth, "A Kachina by Any Other Name: Linguistically Contextualizing Native American Collections" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 409.
Received from ProQuest
Rachel Elizabeth Maxson
Museum studies, Cultural anthropology, Linguistics