Kachina Doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina Doll

Arizona

Wupamo Katsina
Chief Kachina of the Guards
Hopi

Circa 1890
Carved wood (cottonwood), pigments
Height: 8 in. – 20.5 cm

Provenance
Ex collection Charles Loloma (1921-1991)
Ex collection Galerie Flak, Paris
Ex private collection, France

Wupamo Kachina doll 20.5 cm 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 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 is one of the Chief Kachinas (Mongkatsina). Wupamo is leads the Guard Kachinas whose role is to control the clown kachinas and prevent them from disrupting the ceremonies.
During the Powamu (Bean Planting) ceremonial cycle, celebrating the return of the kachina spirits, Wupamo runs throughout the plaza and uses branches of yucca to whip people away to make way for the procession of other kachina dancers.


This kachina doll comes from the collection of Charles Loloma (1921-1991), one of the most influential Hopi artists in jewelry and pottery of the last century. A member of the Badger clan in Hotevilla, 3rd Mesa, Loloma was recognized early on as one of the leading Native American artists - exhibiting in the pioneering "Indian Art of the United States" exhibition as early as 1941 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
He collected kachina dolls throughout his life, including this Wupamo, which remained in the Loloma family collection by descent until this year.

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