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Hopi Pueblo Carved Cottonwood Eagle Katsina Doll


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Carver Unknown

The Eagle katsina appears in the spring dances, the Kiva and the Repeat Dance. Eagles occupy a unique place in the pantheon of Hopi deity. They are treated as family members and honored guests, given presents as are Hopi children, and ritually fed and cared for until the ritual smothering in the spring, whereupon the bird is plucked of its feathers for use in holy rituals.

This carving appears to be pre-1950s based on style and paints.  The neck ruff is wool yarn and there are leather strips tied to each arm on which there once was a spray of feathers and white cotton.  Over the years, both feathers and cotton are gone.  There is a yucca or grass head band, most of which is still intact. 

Interestingly, the carver attempted to illustrate dance motion of the right foot by cutting away a portion of the skirt as if it was being displaced by the leg in motion.  There are leather straps tied to each wrist and around each leg. 


Condition:  The carving is a very good example of an old doll and it is in remarkably good condition although the left foot has been repaired. Most of the feathers have been removed in accordance with U.S. Federal regulations.

Provenance: from a gentleman in Ohio  

Close up view of this Eagle Katsina Doll.

Carver Unknown
C3475D-kachina.jpgC3475D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.