Kachina doll

North America | New Mexico

Kachina doll

New Mexico

Hemushikwe Katsina – Sky spirit kachina doll
Zuni

Circa 1920
Carved wood, fibers and pigments
Height: 45 cm – 17 ¾ in.

Provenance
Ex Bonhams, Native American Art, 4 Dec. 2017, lot 23
Ex collection Donald Ellis, Canada, inv. # S4289-23

Exhibition
TEFAF, Maastricht, March 2018, Donald Ellis

Hemushikwe Zuni Katsina doll 45 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
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.

As noted by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Hemushikwe Katsina appears on the last day of the Shalako ceremonies.
The performance includes six Hemushikwe dancers, one for each kiva.
The mask contains symbols and colors associated with clouds, rain and fertility. The colors and symbols on the elaborate tabletta, or headdress, relate to the sky or sky elements. The front of the tabletta features a rainbow figure flanked by celestial motifs, while the back contains a crescent moon and stars. The body has earth elements.

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