Hopi Koyemsi Mana Katsina Doll


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Carver Unknown

This katsina doll is wearing the shawl of a female but not the black dress routinely worn by females, however it has previously been identified as the Koyemsi Mana by an old, attached tag. Another possibility is that it represents Kuikuinaka Koyemsi. Additionally, another possibility to consider is that he represents Tuve Koyemsi, that is a Koyemsi dressed as another katsina. The body paint would indicate that to be a possibility. A true Koyemsi would have a tan clay painted body.

Many of the present-day Koyemsi were adopted from Zuni Pueblo many decades ago. Even the name Koyemsi is a Zuni name. The proper Hopi name for these Mudhead figures is Tachukti. At both Hopi and Zuni, the Koyemsi are not considered to be katsinas. Their purpose is to be the interlocutors between katsinas and humans. In this function they announce impending events, translate requests, give directions, and present other information.

The sheer number of different Koyemsi would indicate that they are a genre that can and do appear in a variety of interpretations and representations that are flexible. Barton Wright, in his book "Clowns of the Hopi" illustrates many variants of this personage and leaves one to consider that the Koyemsi can change and innovate at will. There seems to be no limit to their functions and dress.

What is a Kachina?

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Hopi Koyemsi Mana Katsina Doll is from the collection of a client of the gallery

Reference: Wright, Barton. Clowns of the Hopi: Tradition Keepers and Delight Makers.

TAGS: Kachina – Katsina DollHopi Pueblo

Alternate close-up view of the doll face.

Carver Unknown
C4726B-kachina.jpgC4726B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.