Hopi Pueblo Heheya Aumutaka Katsina Doll [SOLD]


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Artist Unknown

Kachina Doll bearing gifts.According to Barton Wright, Heheya Aumutaka means "like Heheya" and this version of Heheya appears only at Third Mesa villages. Other versions appear on First Mesa and Second Mesa villages. The interesting thing about this Katsina is that he speaks the opposite of what he means. If he says something is "good," he means it is "bad." Formerly he accompanied the Soyoko when they appeared on Third Mesa but since the Soyoko no longer come, his role is shifting to that of a general Powamu Katsina.

This katsina is one of the sons of the Ogres.  He is frequently a runner or a slave or servant for the Ogres.  He has been known to threaten the children and to carry food to the kivas where it is stored until evening.  Sometimes he will carry a rope to threaten the children or to lasso an unwary onlooker. He is considered an Ogre when he appears in this way.  When he appears in the night dances, he behaves in a lewd or lecherous manner until one of the Ogre Manas (female) puts a stop to it.

When we were preparing to publish a book on Hopi Katsinam based on paintings by Neil David, Sr., a Hopi-Tewa of First Mesa, we showed the same paintings to Hopi at different villages to obtain their comments on the katsinas, as explanations differ from village to village.

An informant at the Village of Shungopavi on Second Mesa stated: “This is just a variation of the Heheya Kachina.  On First Mesa he has a white face, at Second Mesa he has a black face, and at Third Mesa he has a yellow face. He does appear at Shungopavi.  The marks on his arm show that he is lewd and will chase after girls.”

Kachina Doll bearing gifts.An informant at Old Oraibi on Third Mesa stated: “He is a side dancer for the Kuwan Heheya group of Kachinas.  The following is a tale concerning the face of this Kachina—The Heheyas were in the village when the village was attacked by an enemy.  The Heheya went into a nearby cave to escape and hide. The enemy saw them and started a fire in the cave and that is why the Kachina’s mouth is deformed and why he has no feathers.  He will often use a chile ristra in the place of the feathers.”

At Kykotsmovi Village on Third Mesa, our informant added to the story above “that the fire made the regular color of the Heheya run, thereby leaving his face with the variety of colors as shown.  This Kachina will act as the carrier of the metate and mano for the corn grinding maidens. At Third Mesa his arms are marked with female genitalia. It is frequently joked that the length of the line on the Kachina’s arm is as long as the impersonator’s penis.”

Apparently, this katsina is not always mean to the children as, in this carving, he is carrying gifts of katsina dolls to be given to the girls during a plaza dance.  In his right hand, he has a Palhikmana Katsina doll and in his left, he carries a pair of Hanomana Katsina dolls and what appears to be three ears of corn. On his head, he has three red chile peppers in lieu of hair.  His earrings are almost clown-like. His clothing is made from wool and he has a seashell as a necklace. On his head, he also has a cap made of wool. He is one of the finest presentations of this katsina I recall seeing.

Condition: this Hopi Pueblo Heheya Aumutaka Katsina Doll is in excellent condition with minor loss of wool on his right shoulder.

Provenance:  from the estate of Santa Fe dealer and collector Martha (Marti) Struever, who passed away in August 2017.

Reference: Kachinas: Spirit Beings of the Hopi by Ricks and Anthony with original paintings by Neil David, Sr.

Close up view of the Kachina Doll face.

Artist Unknown
C4045K-kachina.jpgC4045K-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.