North America

Kachina Doll

Arizona, USA

Maiden Kachina doll

Carved wood (cottonwood) and natural pigments
Circa 1890-1910
Height: 8 ½ in. (21.5 cm)
Ex collection Toby Herbst, USA

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.

This Kachina doll depicts a Hopi Maiden (Kachin'Mana). Mana kachinas appear along with male spirit dancers during the ceremonies. The names of these Maiden Katsinam derive for those of their masculine counterpart with the addition ofthe Hopi word "Mana" meaning "young girl". Thus, if this Mana dances with Nuvak (Snow) Kachina, it will be called Nuvakchin'Mana.

The figure presented here is distinguished by its archaism and the refined rendering of the manta, the specific cape worn by the female kachinas on their shoulders.