Kachinas Archives

Kachina Doll

Hopi Indians, Arizona, USA

Rugan Katsina
Possibly Volz Type

Carved wood (cottonwood), natural pigments and fibers
Before 1910
Height: 11 in. (28 cm)

Ex collection Alan Kessler, USA

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 style of this kachina is reminiscent of the corpus of “Volz”-type kachinas: Frederick Volz (1856-1913) owned a trading post in a Hopi village. In 1901, he acted as a buyer for the entrepreneur Fred Harvey, collecting nearly 400 kachinas. Major American museums (The Field Museum, The New York Museum of Natural History, The University of Pennsylvania Museum, etc.) would subsequently seek to acquire examples of these “Volz” kachinas.