Kachina doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina doll

Arizona

Large and early Hemis Katsina – New Corn Kachina doll
Hopi

Circa 1900-1920
Carved wood (cottonwood), pigments
Height: 18 in. – 45.5 cm

Ex private collection, Midwest, USA

Hemis Kachina doll 45.5 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.

This doll represents the New Corn kachina or Hemis Katsina.
In the Hopi pantheon, this Kachina spirit is particularly important. It represents ripening corn. It is a prayer for moisture and rain which will help corn shoots grow in the season. It is one of the most beautiful kachinas. Its many symbols are associated with the desire for rain.
The Hemis Kachina is most often used for the Niman or Home-Going Ceremony when the kachinas leave the Mesas for six months. It is one of the most appropriate kachinas for this farewell, as it is the first kachina to bring mature corn to the people, indicating that the corn crop is assured.

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