Kachina Doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina Doll

Arizona

Shalako Mana Katsina – Large Shalako kachina doll
Hopi

Carved wood (cottonwood), natural pigments, feathers
Circa 1890s
Height: 18 ¼ in. (46.5 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.

The doll presented here is exceptional for its gigantic proportions and intense sculptural presence.

This kachina doll is known in the Hopi pantheon as Salako (or Shalako), the Maiden Giant Bird (Mana means "Maiden" or “female” in Hopi language).
Shalako is a prayer to bring rain over the parched fields.
This spirit appears during the solstice (Pamuya) ceremony in January and invokes the elements for abundant rains.

Salako Mana shares many characteristics with the Butterfly Maiden Kachina (Pahlik & Poli Mana). They are among the most spectacular Hopi kachinas with their large and elaborate tabletas (crown-like element) on top of their heads.

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