Kachinas Archives

Kachina doll

Zuni
New Mexico, USA

Shulawitsi Katsina
Little Fire God Kachina doll

Carved wood, natural pigments, fabric and feathers
Circa 1930s
Height: 10 ¾ in. (27.5 cm)

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 katsina is one of the two sons of the Sun, and is associated with the Morning Star. It is one of the most important kachinas in the Zuni pantheon. Shulawitsi is also a member of the Council of the Gods and Representative of the Sun. Shulawaisti dancer is always a young man, described by the Zuni as "innocent with a pure heart". The dancer carries “fire sticks”, recalling his responsibility as guardian of one of the most important physical elements of the universe: the fire.