Chief Kachina of the Guards
Carved wood (cottonwood), pigments
Height: 8 in. – 20.5 cm
Ex collection Charles Loloma (1921-1991)
Ex collection Galerie Flak, Paris
Ex private collection, France
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.