Hopi Second Mesa Palhik Mana Katsina Doll [SOLD]


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Douglas Holmes

The Palhik Mana is one of the more spectacular Hopi Katsinas because of the large and elaborate tableta on her head, as well as the rainbow decorations on her chin. She is a maiden with several functions. She may appear in a katsinam function as a Corn Grinding Maiden, or as a Salako Mana in a dance with the Salako Takas, or as a non-katsina in the women’s social dances.

Barton Wright places this Katsina in the Night Dances group, which, as he explains, are the dances held in the kivas in January before the arrival of the katsinas to Bean Dance in February. He states that at Third Mesa, puppet dances in the kiva feature the Salako and Palhik Mana with the Water Serpent, but this is not done at First or Second Mesas. In these puppet dances, the Palhik Mana is the maiden who grinds corn.

There are several variations of this personage with similar appearances.  There is the Poli Mana who, with her partner, the Poli Katsina, always appears but only in the kiva during the Night Dance.  The Poli Mana is always portrayed as a man whereas the Palhik Mana is impersonated by a woman. Another similar katsina is the Salako Mana who is a partner of the towering Salako Katsina and also may be the maid who grinds corn during the Puppet Dances in the kiva.

This carving, which is exceptional,  was made by a member of a Second Mesa village and therefore would be portrayed by a woman.   The body proportions are well illustrated and the painting of the embroidered clothing is as fine as one could expect. The tableta is beautifully designed and painted. Overall, the doll is well above average. It is very impressive.  

Underneath the white clothing, she is wearing the traditional black manta that is worn with one shoulder exposed.  Tied around her waist and falling down her left side is a white rain sash. On each arm, secured by an arm band, is a feather and black and red yarn.  She carries a pair of feathers in each hand. She is barefoot, which is traditional when women dance as their feet are meant to be in touch with the earth.  She wears a nugget necklace and jacla earrings. On the back of the doll is a bundle of carved feathers on the back of her head and long hair hanging down her back with a wide red ribbon trailing, and a pair of eagle feathers in her hair.  The eagle down feathers on the tablita were each carved and scored to look like feathers as were all the other feathers on the doll. The carving is all wood.

Douglas Holmes - artist signatureNo detail was overlooked on this doll.  The carver did an exceptional job. The name of the carver is on the underside of the pedestal.

Condition: this Hopi Second Mesa Palhik Mana Katsina Doll is in very good condition.

Provenance: from the inherited collection of a gentleman who, as a young man, traveled to the villages with his uncle while the uncle purchased some of the finest Native arts.  After the uncle passed away, the nephew inherited his collection.

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

Douglas Holmes
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