Hopi Navan Katsina, Velvet Shirt Kachina Doll by Kerry David


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Kerry David, Hopi Pueblo Carver

At times in the world of Pueblo art, bigger is better.  In the case with this Navan, or better known as Velvet Shirt Katsina, the detail imbued in this smaller carving by Kerry David is absolutely astounding.  It is believed that the Navan Katsina originated at the Village of Moencopi on Third Mesa sometime after 1900. He is a very colorful Katsina with his velvet shirt and colorful ribbons. He represents the blooming of plant life and the beauty of life, as illustrated by the flowers on his head. His songs are prayers for rain to sustain life.

Artist Signature and Hallmark of Kerry David, Hopi Pueblo CarverKerry David used all of his artistic talent when creating this lovely version of Velvet Shirt.  A cornucopia-like headdress blossoms in every cardinal direction with colorful flowers, feathers, and foliage.  Around Navan’s neck a necklace with a jacla hangs, and has so intricately been carved the artist managed to create raised turquoise beads, lifting off the chest in life-like, albeit miniature, fashion. 

Velvet Shirt carries a rattle and a bow.  His legs and arms are raised in the movement of dance.  From his waist a spectacularly decorated ceremonial sash hangs next to a fox pelt.  He is perched on a stand decorated with similarly brilliant colors depicting a sun and moon, a rainbow, and several geometric shapes.  

Artist Kerry David is of mixed heritage.  His mother is Diné of the Navajo Nation and his father, Les David, is a Hopi from First Mesa. Kerry is a nephew of Neil David, Sr. He was born in 1963 at Walpi village at First Mesa.  He started carving katsina dolls when he was 7 years old.

Kerry David was born in 1963. His awards are many: 1987 Best of Division, Museum of Northern Arizona; and 1987 Best of Class, two First Class, and a Third Class, all at Colorado Indian Market in Denver.  His carvings are in the collection of the Museum of Northern Arizona, and numerous private collections.

What is a Kachina?

Condition: This Katsina doll is in excellent condition

Provenance: this Hopi Navan Katsina, Velvet Shirt Kachina Doll by Kerry David is from the estate of a family from New Mexico

Recommended Reading: Kachinas a Hopi Artist’s Documentary by Barton Wright

Relative Links: Hopi PuebloKatsina DollsNeil David, Sr.

Kerry David, Hopi Pueblo Carver
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