Hopi Pueblo All Wood Heotomana Katsina Doll


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Walter Howato, Hopi Pueblo Carver

Walter Howato's Early Carvings: A Glimpse into Hopi Art and Tradition

This early carving by Hopi artist Walter Howato (1921-2003) is more like those carved by other Hopi of the time. Later, Howato treated his carvings to prematurely age them to appear as the older dolls he recalls in his mother's home. The paint has not been aged on this carving. The doll stands upright with a rattle in her right hand and a bow in her left. Her arms and hands are tucked to the body in the style of late nineteenth century carvings. Over her shoulder is added a leather quiver for arrows.

Heotomana has an interesting history. She is the sister of Heoto and appears in the performances that he does. Her function is very similar to that of Hé-é-e, the Warrior Maiden. According to Barton Wright, this Katsina (Hé-é-e) is based on the story of a young girl. "Many years ago, tradition says that some Hopis were living outside of the main village, and the mother of this household was putting up her daughter's hair. The mother had finished only one side of the hair whorls, the hair on the other side still hanging loosely, when they saw enemies sneaking toward the village. The daughter snatched up a bow, quiver, and arrows from the wall and raced toward the village to warn the people. She then led the defense until the men in the fields could return and rout the enemy. She has been personated ever since as a kachina."

During the Pachavu procession Heotomana assumes the task of guard. It is she who gives the signal that drives everyone indoors when certain ceremonies must be performed out in the open. She, too, leads the horde of hooting, jangling, threatening Katsinas along the line of procession into the village. Both Hé-é-e and Heotomana appear during Pachavu.

What is a Kachina?

Condition: the carving is in wonderful condition. There is some abrasion of the pigments, but nothing is broken or repaired on the carving.

Provenance: this Hopi Pueblo All Wood Heotomana Katsina Doll is from the collection of a resident of New Mexico

Reference: Kachinas: A Hopi Artist's Documentary by Barton Wright

TAGS: Hopi PuebloR.C. Gorman,  San Ildefonso PuebloKatsina dollsJimmy KootsRomando Vigil, Tse Ye MuManfred SusunkewaJimmy Kewanwytewa (Jimmy K)Walter Howato

Alternate close-up view of the face of this katsina doll.

Walter Howato, Hopi Pueblo Carver
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