Mongwu Katsina – Owl kachina doll
Carved cottonwood, hide, natural pigments
Height : 8 ¾ in. (22 cm)
Ex collection George Terasaki, New York,
acquired in the 1960s
– Classic Hopi and Zuni Kachina figures,
Barton Wright, Andrea Portago, Museum of New Mexico Press, 2006
– Kachina, George Terasaki Collection, 2008, pl. 5
Exhibition & Literature:
Beyond Hollywood: Identidades Indígenas Norte-Americanas,
Museu Valencià d’Etnologia (Musée d’Ethnologie de Valence), Spain, June-Dec. 2018
The Owl kachina incarnates justice and wisdom. It plays the role of the keeper of order in ceremonies, especially against clown kachinas. The latter indeed often try to upset the sequence of dances by provoking other dancers or by distracting the attention of the spectators.
Eminently poetic and touching, this kachina doll with its wide-open eyes – symbol of knowledge – wears a bow and quiver strung across its chest.
This exceptional 1880s figure belonged to George Terasaki (1931-2010), a passionate collector and outstanding dealer, who kept it in his collection from the 1960s until the end of his life.