Hopi Huhuwa Katsina, Cross Legged Kachina Doll


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Once Known Native American Carver

Huhuwa Katsina: The Spirit of Resilience and Humor in Hopi Tradition

Barton Wright lists the Huhuwa Katsina in his book Clowns of the Hopi but states that he technically is not a clown but is revered so much because of his legacy. Folklore has it that this katsina is the spirit of a man from Second Mesa who had some crippling disease that left him barely able to walk. Despite this handicap, he was so cheerful and eager to help others that he still continues among the Hopi as a katsina. He often appears as a pair of katsinas hobbling about some village during a ceremony chattering between them.

Huhuwa is probably chosen more often as a gift-giving katsina at Powamu times than any other katsina, according to Wright. He is noted for his remarks which are always humorous. He imitates the dialects of the various villages and the funny things the villagers have done.

This particular katsina doll is interesting in that it does not have crossed legs like the usual cross legged Huhuwa Katsina doll. For some reason the carver decided not to add this feature, although all of the other characteristics of the Huhuwa Katsina are seen. Around his nose and under his eyes is a triangular shaped red line, and he has flowers and a feather headdress on top of his head. His clothes are ragged, as usual.

The cottonwood doll is painted in a mud color with yellow and white detailing. Around his waist he wears a white kilt with a black and pink sash design.

What is a Kachina?

Condition: good condition

Provenance: this Hopi Huhuwa Katsina, Cross Legged Kachina Doll is from the collection of a client from California

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

TAGS: Kachina – Katsina DollHopi Pueblo

Alternate close-up view of the face of this clown.

Once Known Native American Carver
C4775F-kachina.jpgC4775F-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.