North America

Kachina doll

Hopi
Arizona, USA

Muzribi Katsina?
Bean Kachina doll

Carved wood (cottonwood), natural pigments
Circa 1910-1920
Height: 7 ½ in. (19 cm)

Ex collection John Molloy, New York

Price: sold

America - Southwest
Read More
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 Kachina doll is possibly is representation of Muzribi (Bean), a member of the Plant Kachinas.
The two symbols on the cheeks are bean sprouts (a staple food of the Hopi along with corn and squash).
According to Barton Wright, the impersonation of Muzribi is a prayer for an increase of beans. This kachina spirit helps the beans to grow.