Kachina Doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina Doll

Arizona

Hochani Katsina – Badger Kachina doll
Hopi

Circa 1930-1940
Carved wood (cottonwood) and pigments

Height : 9 ¼ in. – 23.5 cm

Inventory number 2004.016.086 (under the left foot)

Hochani Kachina doll 23.5 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 kachina bears a Zia name for a Medicine Power chief or head man. It is also associated there with the Flint Society but it does not function in that role as at Hopi.
This Kachina doll is called Hochani (formerly Hotcani) in the Hopi pantheon. Hochani probably first appeared in the myths and ceremonies of the Pueblos of the Rio Grande before being fully integrated as a kachina into the Hopi pantheon. Hochani is considered to be the Medicine Power chief or head man. and is symbolically associated with the raccoon.

Hochani may appear at kiva dances in the winter, and more frequently in the spring during mixed dances.
However, his appearances became increasingly rare during the 20th century.

According to a legend, Hochani was a Hopi who went to live in Rio Grande during (mythical) hard times, then he returned to his village bringing gifts. As such, it is a particularly beloved and beneficial kachina spirit.

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