Hopi Pueblo Chakwaina Kachina Doll [SOLD]


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Carver Unknown

This Hopi Pueblo katsina doll, probably from the 1940s, represents Chakwaina who appears most often in January during the Kiva Dances, dancing in a line with lively gestures, stooping and turning and singing a spirited tune. It is an all-wood carving and appears to be of a single piece except perhaps for the fox tail on the back.  Feathers on the head were attached in the older manner where each was wrapped in string and then attached. Mostly, on later dolls, feathers were glued to the head.

It has been said that Chakwaina represents Estevan the Moor, who led Fray Marcos de Niza in search of Cibola and was killed at Zuni. Barton Wright, the noted Katsina expert, said this is not likely because Chakwaina originally came from the Rio Grande Pueblos, migrated to Zuni, then to Hopi from Zuni.

Chakwaina appears at Hopi, Zuni and *Keresan Pueblos but not in New Mexico Tewa Pueblo ceremonies. Chakwaina is a warrior of great repute.

Alph Secakuku, in his book referenced below, calls an older version of this Tsa’kwynakatsina, and this later version as a side dancer to it.  He states that Tsa’kwynakatsina is a Warrior, appearing during Powamuya ceremony and Angk’wa, the spirit of which represents cold moisture.

This carving, then, represents Chakwaina as a side dancer.  The arms tucked toward the body is a style normally associated with pre-1930s carvings, however, they are slightly away from the body indicating an early 1940s carving.

*Keres: the language spoken by the Puebloan people of Acoma, Cochiti, Laguna, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, and Zia Pueblos are so closely related that linguists usually consider them dialects of a single language, known as Keres or Keresan.

Condition: this Hopi Pueblo Chakwaina Kachina Doll is in very good condition for its age.  There are paint abrasions but no significant damage or repairs except for both feet, which have been broken and glued.

Provenance: from an estate in Taos, New Mexico


- Hopi Kachina Tradition: Following the Sun and Moon by Alph Secakuku

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

Relative Links: Hopi katsina dollHopi PuebloKachina Doll

Carver Unknown
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