Cottonwood Root Motsin - Disheveled - Katsina Doll [SOLD]


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Roy Tawahongva

The carving of the doll was very well executed.  “Motsin, the Disheveled Kachina, is appearing less frequently for his function is to enforce attendance in community work parties.  One of the main forms of community work is the cleaning out of the springs, and these have, for the most part, been supplanted by water systems.  However, he does appear in ceremonies such as the Powamu or Palölökongti.  He carries the tools for enforcement of his desires.  This kachina can appear in white, as shown here, but he is usually black faced.  One of the most characteristic marks used to be his appearance in a striped shirt, but over the years the sale of these shirts has disappeared.  Now he comes in any convenient shirt.”   Wright 1973


Roy Tawahongva signatureThere is very little information published on the artist Roy Tawahongva.  From his brother’s (Mark Tawahongva) biographical information, who is listed as being born in 1948 at the Hopi village of Hotevilla, one can assume that Roy is 65 or more years old and was from the village of Hotevilla, as well. Roy is listed as being a katsina doll carver and a jeweler.


The carving of the Katsina doll was very well executed.  The musculature and body proportions of the man are to scale, the rope in the left hand and the whip in the right hand are from the original one-piece cottonwood root, as is everything, even the feathers on the head. This is completely a one-piece carving.  The artist’s name is carved into the underside of the pedestal.


feathers on the headCondition: original condition


Provenance: from the collection of a family from New York


ReferenceKachinas: a Hopi Artist’s Documentary by Barton Wright with original paintings by Cliff Bahnimptewa.  This book is currently not available from Adobe Gallery.

Roy Tawahongva
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