Hopi, Arizona, USA
Water Serpent Kachina doll
Carved wood(cottonwood), natural pigments and feathers
Height : 13 ¼ in. (33.5 cm)
Ex collection The Heye Foundation
Museum of the American Indian, New York, inv. 11/2942
Ex collection Pierre Loeb, Paris (1897-1964)
Published: Parcours des Mondes 2016
The doll presented here is an archaic representation of the Water Serpent Kachina (Paaloloqang), who participated in the ceremonial dances preceding the summer solstice, its appearance perceived as a prayer for rain.
This kachina doll has a prestigious provenance (Heye Foundation, then Pierre Loeb, aesthete and pioneer among dealers), and is characteristic of works dating from earlier than the 20th century. The figure radiates an intensely poetic air, one that the Surrealists – fervent admirers and enthusiastic lovers of kachina dolls – would have undoubtedly celebrated in their time.