Tuvé Koyemsi Dressed as a Buffalo Mana


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Once Known Native American Carver

This is a rarely seen Hopi Pueblo katsina doll. It is a Tuvé Koyemsi impersonating a Buffalo Mana. He is dressed as the Mana but wears the headpiece of a Mudhead.

According to Barton Wright, "One of the most confusing aspects of the Koyemsi is his ability to substitute for kachinas. The ones who do this are called either Tuvé (decorated) or Kuwan (colorful) Koyemsi. They are costumed as a particular kachina but wear a Koyemsi mask. They can represent a wide variety of kachinas, possibly all of them, and behave just as those with whom they appear.

"It is not uncommon for an individual who has been unable to practice or who was late in preparing in some fashion to don a Koyemsi mask in order to take part in a dance.

"In other instances, the Koyemsi actually takes the place of a missing individual and performs his ritual. An example of this kind of substitution occurred in 1893 on First Mesa. In an unusual occurrence, five children were initiated into the Kachina Cult in the plaza at Tewa by a substitute or Tuvé who was attired as a Kipok Koyemsi. The circumstances were that although the kachina mother, Tumash, and her two sons, the Tungwub Kachinas, had appeared the night before, it was decided that they could not come the next day because there were no Walpi children to be initiated. The whipper, a Tuvé Koyemsi, represented the Hu or Tungwub Kachina. In a similar occurrence on Second Mesa in 1985, Ahöl' Mana failed to appear during the Soyal ceremony and her place was taken by a Tuvé Koyemsi, in this instance a Koyemsi Mana." [Wright, 2004:87-89]

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Tuvé Koyemsi Dressed as a Buffalo Mana is from the collection of a gallery client

Reference: Wright, Barton. Clowns of the Hopi-Tradition Keepers and Delight Makers. Kiva Publishing, Walnut, CA, 2004

TAGS: Katsina DollsHopi PuebloHopi Kachina Dolls

Alternate close-up view of the katsina face.

Once Known Native American Carver
C4726C-kachina.jpgC4726C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.