Kachinas Archives

Kachina doll

Arizona, USA

Kwahu Katsina
Eagle dancer kachina doll

Carved wood (cottonwood), fiber, feathers and natural pigments
Circa 1890-1895
Height: 11 in. (28 cm)
Width: 13 ½ in. (34.5 cm)

Ex collection Sky Gray, Denver
By descent
Ex collection George Everett Shaw, Aspen

Price: sold

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 teaching tool allowing them to familiarize themselves with the spiritual world and perpetuating knowledge of the founding myths on which their society was based.

The eagle kachina dances only in the kiva and is given to increase the number of eagles. It also seems to be associated with rainfall. Kwahu (eagle) is considered to be a very sacred kachina and those who perform it must undergo fasting.
The presence of a yucca band around the head is an indication of a hard or war-like personage.