Kachina doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina doll

Arizona

Angwusnasomtaka Katsina
Crow Mother Kachina doll / Tumas Chief Kachina
First Mesa
Hopi

Cottonwood with pigments
Circa 1930s
Height: 7 in.(18 cm)

Ex collection Galerie de France, acquired in 2003

Published: Kachina Spirit, Edition l'Enfance de l'Art, p.132
Sold
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 female kachina spirit depicted here is called Angwusnasomtaka ("Mother of the Crows") in the Hopi pantheon. She is said to be the Mother of all the Kachinas.
Crow Mother is a Chief Kachina who often leads the processions of the important kachinas, especially during the Powamu or Bean Dance.
Crow Mother is one of the most famous kachina figures, and a personal favorite of mine.
This specific kachina spirit has been a major influence for Western artists throughout the 20th century. A famous theater costume designed by Sophie Taeuber-Arp in 1921-1922 for a Dada theater performance was directly influenced by a Hopi Crow Mother Kachina costume.

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