Kachina doll

Hopi, Arizona

Qoi’a Katsina
(Corn / Ancient Navajo Kachina doll)

Carved wood (cottonwood), feathers and natural pigments
Circa 1900-1910
Height: 10 ¾ in. (27.5 cm) excl. feathers

Ex private estate, California

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.

The Kau’a (or Qoi'a) kachina doll is the archaic version of the kachina representing the neighbors of the Hopi, the Navajo. The idea behind the kachina dance where a Navajo spirit appears is that the power of these neighbor-warriors would be reflected back on the whole village, thus reinforcing the Hopi character. The last time the archaic Kau’a kachina dance took place was in the Hopi village of Mishongnovi in 1914.