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Hopi Hahai-i Wuhti Katsina Tihu with Hopi Villages Sticker [SOLD]


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Artist Unknown

Hahai-i Wuhti is one of the more colorful of the Hopi Katsinas.   She is present in many ceremonies—Salako, Powamu, Pachavu, Palȍlȍkongti, and even the Soyoko.  Her personality is that of a sprightly Hopi grandmother. She may be found speaking in her shrill falsetto for the Nataskas (Ogres) on First Mesa.  She would be demanding meat for them, for after all, they are her and Chaveyo’s children. Failing to get the kind or quantity of meat desired, she may be heard berating the inconsiderate, hard-hearted individuals and mutterying dire threats.

Again, she may be seen in the Salako extorting those giant bird-like katsinas through an elaborate ritual.  In yet another guise she appears in the Third Mesa Pachavu offering the children somiviki, a Hopi food, and when they reach for it she pours water on their heads.  This is not an idle act but one with ceremonial meanings.

And yet another time she will be seen as the wet nurse of the Water Serpents during the Puppet Dances.  Wherever she appears she is usually very vocal, an attribute not common among the other katsinas.

In addition to being the mother of the ogres, she is thought of as mother of dogs, and of katsinas.  

It is the tihu (flat katsina doll), such as this one, that is given to the very young Hopi babies and captive eagles.  Hahai-i Wuhti is always the first doll given to a newborn infant. When a Hopi restrains an eagle on the roof of his home, it is treated with honor. It would be given gifts of small baskets and gifts of Hahai-i Wuhti katsina dolls.

This representation of Hahai-i Wuhti is the style given to infants as their first gift from the katsinas.  This one appears to date to pre-1950 and has a paper label on the back “From the Hopi Villages” of the style typically put on items at Fred Harvey gift shops in the Southwest.

Condition: this Hopi Hahai-i Wuhti Katsina Tihu with Hopi Villages Sticker is in very good condition

Reference: Kachinas: a Hopi artist’s documentary by Barton Wright with original paintings by Cliff Bahnimptewa

Provenance: from the collection of a family from Santa Fe

This doll really is flat - better for the Hopi babies to hold.

Artist Unknown
C4126C3-flat.jpgC4126C3-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.