Hopi Angwusi - Crow Katsina Doll [SOLD]


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Kevin Pochoema, Hopi Pueblo Carver

It is not unusual for a Hopi artist to make a carving of the Crow Mother Katsina, but much more unusual to see one make one of a Crow Katsina.  The Crow Katsina is one of the warriors who make war on the clowns during the Plaza Dances or who appear in the Soyohim of late spring. He comes to threaten the clowns for their immoderate behavior, appearing again and again until finally he and others who have the same function descend upon the clowns and thoroughly chastise them.  

Plaza Dances may be either Mixed Katsina Dances (Soyohim) where all the dancers are different types of katsinas, or a dance where all of the katsinas are the same.  In either case, all of the katsinas have a definite purpose, often in addition to their primary purpose of bringing rain and fertility. Dances may be sponsored by people who wish to commemorate some special event such as the return of a son from the army, the recovery from an illness, or a child’s birthday.  Yet, there is still a strong element of religion present in these dances. These events are enjoyed by all, and their presentation is very dear to the hearts of all Hopis.

Kevin Pochoema (1965- ) is generally regarded as one of the finest living katsina carvers.  This Crow Katsina, which was likely originally completed and collected in the early 2000s, is a particularly appealing work.  Pochoema’s crow is elaborately carved, beautifully colored, and imaginatively positioned. His colors are notable for their darkness and strength.  Brighter colors are used too, quite sparingly though. Turquoise decorates his mask, headdress, and, of course, his jewelry. Purple and lime green decorate his embroidered sash, which is presented with Pochoema’s typically excellent attention to detail.  One of the piece’s most exciting traits is Crow’s unusual arrangement—he’s kneeling on one knee, over the neck of a deer. The deer’s head and right front leg reach out from between Crow’s legs, while its left front leg curves around from behind Crow’s left leg.  Everything is in accurate proportion and nothing appears in any way unnatural or out of place. Pochoema seems to have handled this complex configuration with ease.

Artist Signature - Kevin Pochoema (1965- ) Greasewood ClanThe carving is signed “Pochoema” on its base, next to Crow’s left foot.

Condition: this Hopi Angwusi - Crow Katsina Doll is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the Kachina - Katsina Doll collection of a gentleman from New York who purchased it in the early 2000s.

Reference: Wright, Barton. Kachinas a Hopi Artist’s Documentary by Barton Wright

Kevin Pochoema, Hopi Pueblo Carver
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