HOPI CULTURE DANCE KATSINA OR KACHINA HOODED DOLL
THIS LATE ACTION HOODED KACHINA OR KATSINA IS MADE OF WOOD. A LITTLE OF THE REMOVABLE HOOD IS COVERED WITH FUR. THE HOOD IS REMOVABLE YIELDING A WARRIORS HEAD. THE KACHINA IS COVERED WITH FUR AND MADE IN THE DANCING POSITION. IT IS MOUNTED ON A WOODEN STAND FOR DISPLAY. IT STANDS 11" TALL WITH A SMALL FEATHER IN EACH HAND. A PICTURE OF THE ITEM WITH AND WITHOUT THE HOOD IS SHOWN WITH THE DISCRIPTION. THE WORD "HEMIS" IS PRINTED ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BASE.
The katsinas are known to be the spirits of deities, natural elements or animals, or the deceased ancestors of the Hopi. Prior to each katsina ceremony, the men of the village will spend days studiously making figures in the likeness of the katsinam represented in that particular ceremony. The figures are then passed on to the daughters of the village by the Giver Kachina during the ceremony. Following the ceremony, the figures are hung on the walls of the pueblo and are meant to be studied in order to learn the characteristics of that certain Kachina. Edward Kennard, co-author of Hopi Kachinas, says concerning the purpose of the kachina figure, “Essentially it is a means of education; it is a gift at dance-time; it is a decorative article for the home, but above all it is a constant reminder of the Kachinas.
Except for major ceremonial figures, most katsina figures originated in the late 19th century. The oldest known surviving figure dates back from the 18th century—it was a flat object with an almost indistinguishable shape that suggested a head and contained minimal body paint. Kachina figures are generally separated into four stylistic periods: the Early Traditional, Late Traditional, Early Action, and Late Action periods.
The Late Action period of kachina figures contains the most variations of carvings than any other period. Most figures of this period display realistic body proportions and show movement, which are distinguishing features of this period. The regalia in this period are more detailed and in the 1960s, carvers began to attach bases to the dolls in order to appeal to the tourists who didn’t want to hang the dolls on their walls. As the dolls became more extravagant and the consumer demand went up, the prices of dolls also rose significantly. Prices today range on average from $500 to $1,000, and it is not unusual to see a carved figure up to $10,000.
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