'Kachinas: Spirit of the Hopi' on Exhibit

  • January 31, 2008
  • MEDIA CONTACT: Diane Daniel; Publicist; College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences; (510) 885-3183

Kachina dollThe C.E. Smith Museum of Anthropology at California State University, East Bay is offering an introduction to the Hopi, a diverse group of Native American people from northeastern Arizona, through an exhibition of the Hopi's Kachina dolls.

"Kachinas: The Spirit of the Hopi," opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 29 with a reception in room 4047 of Meiklejohn Hall, site of the C.E. Smith Museum of Anthropology, on the Hayward campus of Cal State East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. Admission is free to the reception and to the exhibit, which continues through June 15. The museum will be closed March 24-31 and May 26.

The Kachinas exhibit will share the museum with the popular "DNA: Cracking the Ancestor Code," which is in its third year at the C.E. Smith Museum.

The handcrafted Kachina dolls, initially used to educate children, are a respected art form worldwide, according to Marjorie Rhodes-Ousley, assistant director of the museum. More than 50 artifacts from the Southwest are included in the exhibition, including the Kachinas, a wedding dress, and items used in daily life.

Anthropology students of Cal State East Bay created both exhibitions, which provide a diverse look at cultural experiences.

"This exhibition offers a rare chance to see part of a major Kachina doll collection started by Jack Lee in 1949," said Rhodes-Ousley. "The museum visitor will enjoy both experiencing the rich spiritual life of the Hopi and seeing the creativity of our students in bringing it to life."

An audio tour of the DNA exhibition is available at http://class.csueastbay.edu/anthropologymuseum/ for iPods and MP3 players.

Cal State, East Bay welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Persons needing such assistance should call (510) 885-3207 well in advance of their visit.

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