Penn Museum logo

Spotlight Gallery

Deer Dancer Katsina

Included with General Admission
Main Level

This one-case display rotates frequently to spotlight special objects from the collection. Now on view: Deer Dancer Katsina made by Aaron Fred.

A Hopi katsina depicting a deer dancer in a headdress made to look like a deer, with antlers atop and an arrow through the head. Deer Dancer Kachina, 2021-4-77 donated by Jan L. Bernstein, Esq., C79, in honor of Joan and James H. Bernstein, W52.

Now On View

This Hopi katsina, or spirit carving, represents a masked deer dancer. Performed in Pueblo communities in January and February, winter deer dances celebrate and thank the deer, elk, and antelope who gave themselves to the people in the preceding year. Deer headdresses include the antlers of those animals; garments and adornments are made anew by hand each year. Singers, dancers, and observers come together in prayerful offerings that strengthen the community, sharing and seeking blessings for all.

The Spotlight Gallery is adjacent to the 25,000-pound solid red granite Sphinx of the Pharaoh Ramses II, located in the Museum’s Main Entrance.