Kachinas Archives

Kachina doll

Hopi, Arizona, USA

Tawa Katsina
Sun kachina doll

Carved wood (cottonwood) and natural pigments
Circa 1880-1890
Height: 8 ¾ in. (22.5 cm)

Ex Fred Harvey Company collection
Ex collection H. Malcolm Grimmer, Santa Fe
Ex private collection, New Mexico

Price: sold

America - Southwest
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This doll, ex Fred Harvey Company collection in the early 20th century, is the exceedingly rare representation of Tawa Katsina, the spirit of the Sun.
Tawa is very seldom seen in public because the performance of the rituals was sacred and secret, reserved only for specific clans or high priesthood leaders.
The Sun Kachina radiates rays down to the Earth giving it warmth and life. The mask of Tawa is a representation of the round face of the Sun.

This doll is 9 in. high. It has all the signs of a pre-1900 carving: undercut kilt, canonic proportions with short legs, an elongated torso and a large mask, superb dynamism with the arms in a dancing posture.