North America

Kachina doll

Hopi, Arizona, USA

Hu Katsina
Ogre kachina doll

Carved wood (cottonwood) and natural pigments
Circa 1890
Height: 9 ½ in; (24 cm)

Ex collection Allan Stone, New York
Ex Sotheby’s, New York, The Collection of Allan Stone, Volume Two, May 16, 2014, lot 103
Ex collection James F. Scott, Charlottesville, acquired at the above auction

Ill. in: Mémoires d’une poupée Kachina, Editions Makassar – L’Enfance de l’Art, 2018

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 represents Hu (also called Tungwup), the black whipper kachina spirit. Hu dancers carried yucca whips in each hand during their ritual performances. They took part in the Powamu ceremony during children initiation. Powamu (or Bean Dance) is one of the most important ceremonial cycles for the Hopi. Powamu dances take place in the winter and include rituals designed to promote fertility and germination.

This kachina doll is redolent with power and mystery.
The posture, articulated arms, painted décor and composition all point to a very early age circa 1880s-1890s.
In terms of condition, one of the horns has been restored.

This kachina figure formerly belonged to Allan Stone, a legendary contemporary art dealer from New York. Allan Stone acquired his first “tribal” artwork in 1955, and over the next 50 years built one of the most important private collections in the world of ancient classical arts from Africa, Oceania, and North America