Kachina Doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina Doll

Arizona

Hopi
Hilili Katsina – Whipper Kachina

Carved wood (cottonwood), pigments
Cira 1900s
Height: 10 ¼ in. (26.5 cm)

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.

This Kachina doll represents a spirit of the Ogre Family, known among the Hopi as Hilili. The name Hilili comes from the sound of the call this kachina dancer makes when he appears during ritual processions. Hilili is a Whipper Kachina, a guardian figure during the Kachina ceremonial dances. He is a very spirited dancer and is greatly admired for his rapid movements. He most frequently appears in the Powamu ceremony for the initiation of young Hopi boys and during Summer Kachina Day Dances.

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