Kachinas Archives

Kachina doll

Arizona, USA

Ho’ote Katsina
Volz-type Yellow Ho’ote kachina doll

Carved wood (cottonwood), fiber, cotton and natural pigments
Circa 1890-1910
Height: 12 ¼ in. (31 cm)

Ex San Diego estate, 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 teaching tool allowing them to familiarize themselves with the spiritual world and perpetuating knowledge of the founding myths on which their society was based.

In terms of style and construction, this kachina figure is related to « Volz type » dolls.
A great number of Volz dolls feature elongated arms and a slim torso as is the case here.
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.) subsequently sought to acquire examples of these “Volz” kachinas.
For more information about Volz-type kachina dolls, one may refer to the reference study by Trisha Loshe published in 2005 by the American Indian Art Magazine : « The Volz collection of Katsina dolls at the Head Museum ».