Kachina Doll

North America | Arizona

Kachina Doll

Arizona

An exceptional Hemis Katsina – New Corn Kachina doll
Hopi

Carved wood (cottonwood) and pigments
Circa 1910
Height: 18 ¾ in. (48 cm)

Ex collection Trotta-Bono, New York

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.

This large and early doll represents the New Corn kachina or Hemis Katsina.
In the Hopi pantheon, this Kachina spirit is particularly important. It represents ripening corn. It is a prayer for moisture and rain which will help corn shoots grow in the season. It is one of the most beautiful kachinas. Its many symbols are associated with the desire for rain.
The Hemis Kachina is most often used for the Niman or Home-Going Ceremony when the kachinas leave the Mesas for six months. It is one of the most appropriate kachinas for this farewell, as it is the first kachina to bring mature corn to the people, indicating that the corn crop is assured.

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