Hopi Pueblo Mid-twentieth Century Mastop Katsina Doll

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Carver Unknown

This carving is a good representation of the Mastop Katsina.  He has a painted hand on his chest. He wears a kilt. His body is painted black and there are white marks on his upper arms and lower legs.  He does not have anything in either hand. This carving is from the mid-twentieth century.

According to Harold Colton, the black case mask has white dots on the cheeks which represent constellations—on the right side the Pleiades and on the left side the Dipper.  His green ruff around his neck is grass. The kilt is a worn out and discarded woman’s dress but in the old days it is said to have been a wildcat skin. He wears traditional red moccasins.  He carries a rattle and a throwing stick. Colton 1959:21

“The Mastop Kachina is the second kachina to appear on Third Mesa.  He is not present on Second or First Mesa. These kachinas always arrive in pairs and come bounding out of the northwest on the next to last day of the Soyal. . . 

“Leaping about with many antic gestures, they make their way to the Chief Kiva where they talk in disguised voices with the individuals inside and with each other.  Then, as though suddenly becoming aware of the females in the audience, they dash madly into a cluster of women and grab their shoulders from behind and they give a series of small hops indicating copulation.  Then they return to the kiva and converse for a while before again dashing over to another group of women, repeating the action until nearly every woman present from child to the very oldest has been approached.  All women, even the shy ones, do not avoid this embrace as it is a serious fertility rite despite the antic touches, which are never directed towards the women.” Wright 1973:13

Condition: very good condition with minimal paint loss.

Provenance: this Hopi Pueblo Mid-twentieth Century Mastop Katsina Doll is from a gentleman in northern New Mexico

References: 

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

Kachinas: a Hopi Artist’s Documentary by Barton Wright with original paintings by Cliff Bahnimptewa.

Relative Links: Kachina – Katsina DollHopi Pueblo

Carver Unknown
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