Kachina doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina doll

Arizona

Wupamo Katsina – Chief of the Guards Kachina doll
Hopi

Circa 1920-1930
Carved wood (cottonwood), pigments
Height: 10 ¼ in. – 26 cm

Ex collection Charles M. Nutt Sr, USA

Wupamo Kachina doll 26 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 doll represents Wupamo, a Kachina Deity. This is one of the Chief Kachinas (Mongkatsina). Wupamo 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.

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