Hopi Na’somta Tsutsukutu - Hairknot Clown [R]


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Tyson Namoki


close up viewThere is a group of Hopi Clowns named Tsutskutu, some of which have yellow body paint and are known as Sikya Tsuku and others with white body paint and known as O-oto Tsuku.  The Na’somta Tsutsukutu clown illustrated here is one of the O-oto Tsuku clowns.  The name derives from the manner in which they have their hair tied in a knot, thus the Hairknot Clown

In this carving, the artist has modernized the clown by illustrating him with a boom box and flyswatter.  He has a doll tied to his rear with his belt sash and she is known as his “sister.”  On his head art two balloons.  This clown always has black dots over the eyes and black lines under the eyes and under the mouth and black dots on his cheeks.  That is traditional face paint of all of this clown style.


Condition: this Hopi Na'somta Tsutsukutu - Hairknot Clown is in original condition

Provenance: from the estate of Tom Mittler, a former resident of Michigan and Santa Fe who purchased it at Christof’s in Santa Fe in 1987

Recommended Reading: Clowns of the Hopi: Tradition Keepers and Delight Makers by Barton Wright


Tyson Namoki
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