Hopi Pueblo circa 1940s Tasap Katsina Doll [SOLD]

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Carver Unknown

This is an exceptional Hopi Pueblo Tasap Katsina doll carved from a piece of cottonwood root. He is short and stout, perhaps mimicking the body of the carver. He was possibly carved from a single piece of cottonwood root.  He appears to be from the 1940s. Body paint was expertly applied and has remained in good condition.

Tasap is a Hopi representation of a Navajo God. There are Hopi versions of katsinam that honor and depict other tribes, such as the Navajo, Havasupai, Comanche, Zuni and other Pueblos.

This is the Hopi version of what the Navajo katsinam might look like. These katsinam are not borrowed from the Navajo, as they are unique to the Hopi. They have the same purpose and functions as all Hopi katsinam. They are messengers and/or intermediaries to the rain gods. Since they are katsinam in every respect, they are afforded the same reverence and dignity during their visits.

This Tasap male katsina wears a ceremonial kilt and rain sash, and has a blue face and red hair. The male, along with a companion female, appears during Angak’wa and the summer katsina day dances. Since they depict the Navajo, their songs may have some Navajo words speaking of the good things of life and/or words representing moisture.


Condition: this Hopi Pueblo circa 1940s Tasap Katsina Doll is in  very good condition for its age.  There is no apparent damage or repairs.

Provenance: from an estate in Taos, New Mexico

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

Relative Links: Hopi katsina dollHopi PuebloKachina Doll


Carver Unknown
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