Hopi Rugan - Rasping Katsina Doll [SOLD]


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Artist Unknown

This katsina appears during the spring dances as a means of promoting the growth of corn. A line of Corn Dancers appears facing a line of female companions who use sheep scapulae and rasps along with gourds to produce music.

The Rugan is a class of male katsinas that come in groups, accompanied by the Corn Maidens.  There are said to be various types who have the same songs.  Harold Colton (see reference below) classifies the Rugan in five categories, each of which is classified as a Rasp Katsina, but each has a face painted differently.  This carving would be classified as Rugan B, with a case mask with red and yellow corn symbols on cheeks, blue and red border to face, and a tube mouth.

This katsina is one of the many Corn Dancers and is one of the most popular both for dance and song as well as function.  He is a prayer for the fruition of corn and he can appear in almost every dance. The symbolism on the face is widely variable as are the colors used.  His costume is more like that of the eastern pueblos. Virtually all Corn Katsinas can be distinguished by the horizontally crossed feathers on their crowns.

This carving is shown in a dance stance by the motion of the feet.  Colored corn is carried in each hand. Across his chest is a bandolier with small shells.  The corn on his face matches in color the corn in his hands.

Condition: this Hopi Rugan (Rasping) Katsina Doll is in good condition with no evidence of repairs.

Provenance: from the substantial collection of katsina dolls from an Oklahoma family.


Close up view of the face of this Katsina.

Artist Unknown
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