North America

Kachina doll

Hopi, Arizona, USA

Carved by Hopi Chief
Wilson Tawaquaptewa, Oraibi (1873-1960)

Carved wood (cottonwood), natural pigments
Circa 1930
Height: 8 ¼ in. (21 cm)

Ex collection Barry Walsh, USA

Price: on request

America - Southwest
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Kachina dolls (or katsinam) represent spirits or gods from the pantheon of the Pueblo peoples in the American Southwest. Given to children, kachina dolls constituted a pedagogical tool allowing them to familiarize themselves with the spiritual world and perpetuating knowledge of the founding myths on which their society was based.
This doll is the work of a Hopi master carver, Wilson Tawaquaptewa (1873-1960).
Oraibi chief W. Tawaquaptewa (sometimes spelled Tewaquaptewa) was both a prominent a spiritual and political Hopi leader; he is also celebrated as the greatest Hopi kachina doll carver.
A major exhibition of W. Tawaquaptewa's works was notably presented a few years ago at the Birmingham Museum of Art (Alabama, USA).
The color palette on this doll is typical of this artist's carvings.