Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • Hopi peoples
  • tableta, late 1800s–2007
  • Where object was made: Arizona, United States
  • wood, paint, string, plant fiber, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 40 x 40 x 2 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 x 3/4 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5975
Label Text

The flat wooden square has a notched cutout so it can be worn on the head. It has twisted string on either side of the notch that keeps it in place. There is a series of stepped triangles along the edges.

On side one there is a plant fiber ring at the top of the notch. The light blue face is on either side of the wearer's face, with a red and yellow inverted "T" on the forehead, with blocks of yellow and blue. The black triangle outlines mimic the sun's rays. The top portion of the tableta has a light blue field with a horizontal band in red and yellow, and a vertical column on either side in red and yellow, which defines the center field. The field is light blue with a large yellow butterfly with black detail. The stepped triangles outside of the field are in combinations of red, light blue, and yellow.

On side two there are two black and white feathers on either side of the wearer's face with yellow, light blue and red teardrop shapes below. There are red and yellow lines above and below. The upper field is defined with red and yellow lines, as above, with the same triangles on the outer edge. The field is occupied with a face of a katsina wearing a white feather headdress, brown feathers or a plant fiber bundle on the forehead. She has black eyes and red lines on her cheeks. The chin is decoraetd with red, light blue, and yellow stripes, identified as palhik' mana (water drinking girl).