Hopi Sakwahon Katsina, Blue Face Bear Kachina Doll


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Once Known Native American Carver

1940s Blue Face Bear Katsina: A Study of Traditional Hopi Doll Artistry

This Katsina doll, dating to the 1940s, represents a Blue Face Bear Katsina. The doll is characterized by its pop eyes, a snout filled with teeth, and bear tracks adorning both cheeks. Its body is painted in two tones—red and yellow. The doll is adorned with a pueblo-style nugget necklace, a sash embroidered in the Hopi tradition, and a red woven belt. It wears blue moccasins and holds nothing in its hands.

As per Harold S. Colton's observations, the Bear Katsinas of First and Second Mesas share similar styles. However, those from Third Mesa exhibit variations not only from the other mesas but also within their own group. Bear Katsinas can be found with masks of different colors—black, yellow, white, and in this case, blue. [Colton,1959:40]

The Bear Katsina is revered for its immense strength, believed to possess the power to heal the sick. It plays a role in the Soyal Ceremony at First Mesa, serving as the watchman or side dancer for the Chakwaina. The Bear Katsina may also participate in the Palölökong Dance, either alone or in a group, and in the Mixed Katsina Dance, where it dances outside the lines. A bear's footprint on each cheek serves as its most distinctive feature. [Wright, 1973:114]


What is a Katsina?

Condition: very good condition with minor crack at left shoulder

Provenance: this Hopi Sakwahon Katsina, Blue Face Bear Kachina Doll is from the collection of a client from the East Coast


- Colton, Harold S. Hopi Kachina Dolls: with a Key to their Identification

- Wright, Barton. KACHINAS A Hopi Artist's Documentary

TAGS: Katsina DollsHopi PuebloHopi Kachina Dolls

Close up view of the face of this Katsina doll.

Once Known Native American Carver
C4708E-katsina2.jpgC4708E-large2.jpg Click on image to view larger.