North America

Kachina doll

Hopi, Arizona, U.S.A.

Pahlik Mana Katsina
Butterfly Maiden Kachina Doll

Carved wood (cottonwood), natural pigments
Circa 1900
Height: 11 in. (28 cm)

Ex collection James Economos, Santa Fe
Ex collection Balene McCormick (1936-2016), former director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston
Ex Sotheby’s New York, May 2013 lot 163
Ex collection James F. Scott, Charlottesville, Georgia, USA

Illustrated 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.
In the Hopi pantheon, Pahlik Mana is the Butterfly Maiden. Pahlik Mana is often seen grinding corn, while sometimes she is seen with colorful plants and birds. She brings rain creating life, whether it is corn or animals, and is thought very highly of to the Hopi. Pahlik Mana is impersonated by both men and women during the dances depending on what mesa they are being portrayed. This Kachina Maiden performs a special dance. During this dance, certain Kiva members must abstain from eating salty and fatty foods and abstaining from contact with the opposite sex. The fasting achieves spiritual concentration through self-purification of the mind and spirit. The Butterfly Dance is a colorful dance that is a prayer for rain, and a bountiful harvest.