‘Kachina Dolls and Dances’ to be topic at Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society lecture


Katsinas-1Native American expert Dr. James Kemp will discuss “Kachina Dolls and Dances” from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society.


figures, also known as


dolls (in photo at right), 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, a resident of Julian and a retired clinical professor at UC San Diego in the Department of Pediatrics, became fascinated with 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.

Kemp will bring some of the kachina dolls in his collection as well as some pottery.

Advance registration is required and seating is limited. Tickets are $15 for members ard $20 for non-members. To register, call Sharon Alix, historical society administrator, Tuesday through Thursday at 858-756-9291. La Flecha House, home of the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society, is at 6036 La Flecha, Rancho Santa Fe, and is a historical landmark.