Hopi Cottonwood Great Horned Owl Kachina, Mongwa Katsina Doll [SOLD]

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Carver Unknown

This carving of the Great Horned Owl Katsina is exceptional.  He stands straight with both arms out front.  He has a buckskin wrap over his body, a yucca whip in his right hand, and a wood staff in his left hand.  His moccasins are adorned with buckskin fringe.  His presentation is that of a warrior.

The Great Horned Owl Katsina, as a warrior, is relentless in persecuting the clowns. He stands to the edge of the dance circle while the clowns are performing, and he watches disapprovingly of their antics as they perform their un-Hopi-behavior.  Near the end of the dance, a group of Mongwa swoops down on the clowns and beat them with yucca whips, douses them with water, and leaves them piled up in the center of the plaza in pain.

This carving of Mongwa, featuring him with a yucca whip in one hand and a staff in the other, lets us know he is ready to engage and perform.  He appears to be waiting until the clowns finish their dance.  This is an elaborate carving and is probably no later than the 1940s, perhaps earlier.  It is primitive in a way but charming as well.  It is not signed with the name of a carver.


Condition: the Hopi embroidered sash on his right side has been broken and glued but is not noticeable, otherwise he is in remarkable condition.

Provenance: this Hopi Cottonwood Great Horned Owl Kachina, Mongwa Katsina Doll is from the extensive collection of a gentleman from California.

Recommended Reading: Fewkes, J. W. “Tusayan Katcinas”, Bureau of American Ethnology, 15th Annual Report, 1897.

Relative Links: Kachina – Katsina DollHopi Pueblo

Close up up view of the face of this Katsina.


Carver Unknown
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