Hopi Very Large Salakomana Katsina Doll by Walter Howato

C4670G-kachina2.jpg

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Walter Howato, Hopi Pueblo Carver
  • Category: Traditional
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu
  • Medium: wood, pigment, metal stand
  • Size:
    26” tall x 11-¾” width of tableta;
    includes metal stand
  • Item # C4670G
  • Price: $2250

Walter Howato was a Hopi Pueblo artist who created a unique style of katsina doll carvings which are immediately recognizable. His katsina dolls appear to be very old, however most of them were made after 1960. He arrived at such a distressed appearance in the following manner:

"His first step was to create his own paints by mixing tuuma (Hopi clay undercoat) with poster paints. Then, he would apply the first coat to the cottonwood root. Once the paint dried, he would take a ‘clean, wet brush to remove a bit [of paint] here and there.' He would repeat this process three or four times to produce the worn, antique look." [Walsh, 2019:140]

This Howato carving of a Salakomana Katsina is unique in several ways. First, at 26 inches, it is much larger than katsina dolls normally made to be sold to collectors. Second, it displays female genitalia, and third, it features articulating arms. Zuni Pueblo katsina dolls often display articulating arms, but rarely do Hopi carvers do so. The painted portions of the doll are deliberately faint in color, another trait of older dolls. Howato had no intent to pass off his carvings as being ancient. He made them as he remembered the old dolls hanging in his mother's house. [ibid]

The tableta has soft pastel colos of turquoise, yellow, and gray. Paints on the face are the same as on the tableta.  There is a faint coral necklace presented on the front and a few red lines at the abdomin.  Otherwise, there are no other paints.

There can be confusion determining if a katsina doll represents the Hopi Palhikmana or the Salakomana.  I have been told that the eyes of Palhikmana are solid black and those of Salakomana are outlined in black, as in this doll.

The katsina doll will stand independently, however, because of the height, a metal stand has been made for more secure standing.


What is a Kachina?

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Hopi Very Large Salakomana Katsina Doll by Walter Howato is from the collection of a client of Adobe Gallery

Reference: The Great Tradition of Hopi Katsina Carvers 1880 to Present, by Barry Walsh, Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson. 2019

TAGS: Hopi PuebloR.C. Gorman,  San Ildefonso PuebloKatsina dollsJimmy KootsRomando Vigil, Tse Ye MuManfred SusunkewaJimmy Kewanwytewa (Jimmy K)Walter Howato

Zuni Pueblo katsina dolls often display articulating arms, but rarely do Hopi carvers do so.

Close-up view of the face of this Katsina Doll.

Walter Howato, Hopi Pueblo Carver
  • Category: Traditional
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu
  • Medium: wood, pigment, metal stand
  • Size:
    26” tall x 11-¾” width of tableta;
    includes metal stand
  • Item # C4670G
  • Price: $2250

C4670G-kachina2.jpgC4670G-big-large2.jpg Click on image to view larger.