North America

Kachina Doll

Hopi
Arizona, USA

Sipikine Katsina
Warrior Kachina

Carved wood (cottonwood), natural pigments
Circa 1920
Height: 5 ¾ in. (14.5 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 doll depicts a warrior Kachina (Sipikine Katsina). Sipikine first appeared at Zuni under the name Salimopia and was later incorporated into the Hopi pantheon.
The Sipikine Kachina dancer was barefoot and wore tree leaves around his ankles as well as raven feathers. He had to run very fast, which is why Sipikine dancers were always impersonated by young men. In fact, there are six variants of Sipikine; they are distinguished by their main colors, one for each cardinal point in Hopi symbolism (the katsina here is a black Spikine).