Talavai Katsina – Dawn / Morning singer kachina doll
Carved wood (cottonwood), pigments
Height: 20 cm – 7 ¾ in.
Ex collection Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, Massachusetts
Ex Skinner Boston, 10 Sept. 2005 lot 251
Ex private collection
This doll represents Talavai Katsina (Morning Singer). Telavai or Talavai means dawn in Hopi language. According to Jesse Walter Fewkes, this Kachina appeared on the morning of the last day of the ceremonial cycle called Powamu (Bean Dance). Masked Talavai dancers appeared in pairs at sunrise on the roofs of adobe houses and sang to awaken the village. They gave offerings of bean sprouts to all the villagers.
The arrival of Talavai was a prayer for rain (hence the symbol of the clouds on the cheeks).