Exceptional Kachina Doll

Zuni Indians, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Anahoho Kachina Doll

Carved wood (cottonwood), natural pigments, fabrics
Height: 7 in. (18 cm)

Circa 1890
Ex collection George Terasaki, New-York
Acquired in 1962

Published: The American Dream

Price: sold

America - Southwest
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Kachina dolls (or katsinam) represent spirits or gods from the pantheon of the Pueblo Indians 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 Zuni kachina doll is adorned with a characteristic mask featuring a black handprint. Its Zuni name is Anahoho. The mythological Anahoho figures were two brothers sent as scouts by the gods to explore the center of the Zuni world.
In ceremonies, Anahoho kachina dancers appear to warn the village of ill omens and to avert enemy attacks.
The soberness of the white of the costume of this kachina doll is counterbalanced by the delicacy of the rest of the doll’s clothing. Dating back to the 1890s, this kachina doll was part of George Terasaki’s collection for more than fifty years. This extremely rare Anahoho kachina doll is particularly touching and poetic.