North America

Kachina doll

Hopi, Arizona, USA

Wupa Nakava (Hololo) Katsina
Big Ears Kachina doll

Carved cottonwood, natural pigments and raffia
Circa 1890
Height: 7 in. (18 cm)

Ex collection Steve Nelson, California
Ex collection George Shaw, Colorado

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 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 ritual doll is a representation of Wupa Nakava (or Big Ears) Kachina. This kachina is associated in the Hopi pantheon with Hololo, the Moon Kachina.
The name Hololo comes from the song of Hololo kachina dancers during their ritual performances.
Hololo is said to protect Hopi women during pregnancy and childbirth.

This exceptional kachina figure is characterized by its features and construction which are characteristic of archaic examples: a short "undercut" kilt, a mask of large dimensions contrasting with the smaller proportions of the legs and torso.