I would like to cast some light on the Kachina (Katsina) removal and destruction reported in February in the Payson Roundup.
The underlying cause is a serious insult to the religion of the Hopi, Zuni or Navaho people.
I will talk about only the Hopi, as I have the most knowledge in that area. In the Hopi religion, the only full-size Kachina are the men from the appropriate kiva who portray that Kachina in certain religious ceremonies. This is the only place where a full-size Kachina is authorized.
In the local instance, there was a full-sized (six-foot) Kachina used as a yard decoration by white persons. (Probably done in ignorance.)
Imagine how Roman Catholics would feel if someone used a very disrespectful full-sized statue of the Virgin Mary as a yard decoration. Or if someone did the same with a comic statue of Jesus Christ. Or if someone displayed a very disrespectful statue of Joseph Smith as a yard decoration.
In all of these cases, there are going to be a large number of very angry people. It is not too much to imagine that some members of the insulted group might have taken direct action. I believe that this is what happened.
It also matches the facts with respect to removal and destruction.
Perhaps we should be offering a sincere apology to the members of the offended religion, instead of trying to prosecute them to the full extent of the law for vandalism.
Consider how you would feel if the situation was reversed and your religion had been grossly insulted in this very manner.
V. Harrison, Payson