Hopi Pueblo Sotuqnang-u, Heart of the Sky God Katsina Doll [SOLD]


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Carver Unknown

This is a Hopi Pueblo Sotuqnang-u or Heart of the Sky God Katsina Doll carving.  This version of the deity is masked with a large star on his face and smaller stars on his ears.  He wears a tall conical hat with a moon and star at its crown. On the back of his mask there is a pair of rain clouds and there is a star on the back of each ear.  He has a green ruff round his neck. Body paint on the front, back and shoulders includes white circular clouds. He wears a Hopi Pueblo traditional embroidered sash, a red woven fabric belt and has a fox tail hanging down the back of the kilt.

Harold S. Colton, in his book Hopi Kachina Dolls, beautifully explains the difference between Hopi Katsinas and Hopi Deities, so we quote him.

“The religion of the Hopi Indians in certain ways resembles that of the ancient Greeks.  It is polytheistic, because there are many gods, and animistic because of the belief that all animate objects, plant and animal as well as some inanimate things, have spirits that the Hopi visualize in human form.  When a Hopi goes out to gather yucca roots to use as a shampoo, the first plant he finds, he prays to and passes by, gathering the second one. When he goes hunting he prays to the spirit of the game and apologizes for having to take their lives.

“In the mind of the Hopi there is a distinction not very sharp between the deities and the spirits of objects.  The spirits of men, animals, and plants are the kachinas which are often impersonated. The spirits of some of the deities appear as kachinas and are impersonated, but most of the deities are never impersonated or even represented by images.  The Hopi recognize about thirty-six deities. These grade from four major gods through minor gods to folk heroes. It is hard to find a clear separation.

“Sotuqnang-u, the god of the sky, the clouds, and the rain, is good, dignified, and powerful.  He is occasionally impersonated in one of two forms, masked and unmasked.”

Condition: this Hopi Pueblo Sotuqnang-u, Heart of the Sky God Katsina Doll is in very good condition

Provenance: from the collection of a family from Oregon

Recommended Reading: 

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

- Hopi Kachina Dolls with a Key to their Identification by Harold S. Colton

Relative Links: Katsina DollsHopi Pueblo 

Close up view o the face of this Hopi Katsina Doll.

Carver Unknown
C3535-38-katsina2.jpgC3535-38-large2.jpg Click on image to view larger.