Hopi Pueblo Vintage Wuyak-kuita Katsina Doll [SOLD]

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Carver Unknown

This is an extraordinary representation of the Hopi Wuyak-kuita Katsina.  It is an all-wood carving with the only addition being a shoulder wrap of felt material.  The carving dates to the pre-World War II period and reflects the careful and detailed attention by carvers for accurate representation.  The feet and arms are in positions of motion as if the katsina is walking.  Both hands were arranged to hold yucca strips, but the yucca is missing.

The face of this katsina is oversize in real life and is responsible for it being called Broadface Katsina.  Colton describes the mask as being made from a yucca basket covered with cotton cloths painted black and sprinkled with gypsum fragments to give it a glittering appearance, and that his teeth are made of neatly twisted corn husks and the beard of horse hair. [Colton, 1949:26]

In every ceremony there are guards to prevent any transgression on the path of the kachinas. In addition, guards or Angry Kachinas were formerly used to enforce community work such as the cleaning of springs. It is to this category that the Wuyak-kuita belongs. Wuyak-kuita is most often seen bringing up the rear of the Bean Dance Procession or circling wide at the sides. He is the one who moves toward the clowns and absolutely terrifies them. [Wright, 1973. 26]

Because it was carved in a walking position, the doll will not stand without support, but was intended to be hung on a wall.

What is a Katsina?


Condition: very good condition with repair to the left foot and some paint abrasions

Provenance: this Hopi Pueblo Vintage Wuyak-kuita Katsina Doll is from the extensive collection of a client from California

References:

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

- Wright, BartonKachinas: a Hopi Artist’s Documentary with original paintings by Cliff Bahnimptewa

Alternate view of this Katsina doll.