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Extraordinary Hopi Pueblo Hé-é-e or Warrior Maid Katsina Doll [SOLD]


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Kevin Pochoema, Hopi Pueblo Carver
  • Category: Traditional
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: wood, stains, paint
  • Size: 13-½” height
  • Item # 26151
  • SOLD

After almost two months of work, Kevin Pochoema completed a most complicated version of the Hopi Hé-é-e or Warrior Maid Katsina doll, with all her attendants included.  The main doll figure is the Warrior Maid, and the small fully-carved images embedded into the pedestal are:

The Talavi (Morning) Katsina with the broad fan of feathers on her head and the evergreen tree in one hand and a bell in the other;  

A Hu Katsina emerging from the kiva on the stepladder and with yucca whips in his left hand;

A  Koyemsi (Mudhead) wearing a red bandanna around his neck and with a hand full of gifts for the children;

A Na-Ngasohu (Chasing Star) Katsina with a beautiful array of eagle feathers across his back, sashes swaying on his side and a rattle in his hand;

A Patung (Squash) Katsina with his elongated head and a flower on the back of his head

Chöqapölö (Mud Throwing) Katsina slightly leaning forward with both hands clutching a bowl of mud;

Wuyak-kuita (Broad Face) Katsina with an elaborate fan of feathers on his head and a colorful mask with a long flowing beard;

Heheya Katsina with an elaborate face and two hands full of gifts to be distributed to the children.

Hé-é-e or Hé’wuhti may be seen in Powamu celebrations most years, but it is at the Pachavu ceremonies that Hé-é-e is seen in her most impressive appearance.  This kachina is the Warrior Maid, based on the story of a young girl:

Many years ago, tradition says that some Hopis were living outside of the main village, and the mother of this household was putting up her daughter’s hair.  The mother had finished only one side of the hair whorls, the hair on the other side still hanging loosely, when they saw enemies sneaking toward the village.  The daughter snatched up a bow, quiver and arrows from the wall and raced toward the village to warn the people. She then led the defense until the men in the fields could return and rout the enemy.  She has been a Katsina since that time.

This is a one-piece carving with only the bow in Hé-é-e’s hand and the two bulging eyes on the Wuyak-kuita as added items.  It is an amazing feat to be able to carve all the miniature katsina figures from a single piece of wood without making a mistake or having to add elements to the carvings.  This is testimony to the absolute mastery by Kevin Pochoema of this medium.

The sash holding the cape together is separated from the body in the front and was certainly a candidate to break during carving, but did not do so.  One of the cross patches on the back of the cape is likewise away from the cape as are the folds in the left and right bottom of the cape. The quiver on her back holds arrows.  

All of the miniature dolls in the pedestal are presented in three dimensional posture, with many arms, legs, and other protuberances displayed as in real life.  This was a monumental task and explains why it took almost two months to complete this doll.

Artist Signature - Kevin Pochoema (1965- ) Greasewood ClanKevin Pochoema is a top prizewinning Kachina - Katsina carver.  In 1992, his 20-inch Water Maiden won a special award: “Best Concept Carving.”  His dramatic female figure wore an elaborate four-inch tableta, Reviewer Laurence Linford stated "Carving and painted details are exquisite, especially in the portrayal of the long, black hair fanning over the shoulders."  Hopi carver Aaron Fredericks stated that Pochoema has a great ability to capture movement and flow, whether it is in the regalia or hair of his carving.

Condition: this Extraordinary Hopi Pueblo Hé-é-e or Warrior Maid Katsina Doll is in new condition

Provenance: from the artist

Recommended Reading: Hopi Katsina: 1,600 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf, assisted by Angie Yan Schaaf

Kevin Pochoema, Hopi Pueblo Carver
  • Category: Traditional
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: wood, stains, paint
  • Size: 13-½” height
  • Item # 26151
  • SOLD

26151-kachina.jpg26151-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.