Cottonwood Root Hopi Pueblo Avachhoya, Corn Katsina Doll [SOLD]

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Carver Unknown

At Hopi Pueblo, there is a variety of Avachhoya, or Spotted Corn Katsinas as shown in variations in the mouth, face design and item or items on top of the mask. This one is more like the published example in Barton Wright’s book.  He has a long pointed snout, eyes that curve up at the ends, green ruff around his neck and on his arms, and wearing a kilt and moccasins.  Of course, the circles on the body are responsible for the name “Spotted Corn.”

According to Barton Wright, “Avachhoya or Qá-ö is the Spotted Corn Kachina who appears in the Pamuya in the regular Kachina dances.  Generally this Corn Kachina dances with such a lively step that only the boys or young men will take the part. They do not sing and are always accompanied by a drummer and chorus, usually Koyemsi.  Sometimes two of these kachinas will dance on the plaza by the side of the Niman Kachinas. Holding nothing in their hands, they make motions and signs describing such figures as clouds or corn stalks or whatever is being sung about at the time.  Probably no other kachina name has quite so many different forms grouped together. It is apparently a generic term, at least nowadays, that covers a multitude of dancers whose function is to aid in the production of corn. The old Hopi style of Avachhoya was a figure with rings painted upon the body and face and four crossed feathers upon the head.  This is probably the closest approach to the written descriptions of Avachhoya, and yet it is just as close to the Laguna Swaying Man.  It is a hybrid figure that any Hopi will call Avachhoya—one of the Corn Dancers.” [Wright, 1973:171]

Harold S. Colton states “Avachhoya or Qá-ö Spotted Corn Kachina. Zuni or modern Hopi type wears case mask which may be any color of the cardinal points; eyes surrounded with a terraced area in white, tubular mouth.  Four feathers form a horizontal cross on top of head. Douglas fir ruff.  Breech clout, sash, and red moccasins.  Body painted pink with white circles or white with pink circles. … Avachhoya is the younger brother of the Hemis Kachina and appears in Pamuya, and regular kachina dances.  [Colton, 1959:48]

Condition: quite good condition with minor paint abrasions and fraying on the kilt

Provenance: this Cottonwood Root Hopi Pueblo Avachhoya, Corn Katsina Doll is from the collection of a family from New York

References: 

Hopi Kachina Dolls with a Key to their Identification by Harold S. Colton

Kachinas: a Hopi Artist’s Documentary by Barton Wright with original paintings by Cliff Bahnimptewa.

Relative Links: Kachina – Katsina DollHopi Pueblo

Close up view of the face of this Corn Katsina Doll.

Carver Unknown
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