Hopi Tosonkoyemsi Katsina Doll [SOLD]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Artist Unknown

This Katsina is known as the Toson Mudhead, Toson Koyemsi, and Mudhead Ogre depending on the reference book consulted.  He is not an Ogre, however, but a relative of the family. The most proper term is Tosonkoyemsi Katsina.  This is an indication of the variety of Koyemsi and their differing functions.

A number of the Tosonkoyemsi Katsinas used to come with the Soyoko on Third Mesa at Hopi Pueblo and demand sweet cornmeal from the girls. They would then sit and taste the cornmeal to see if it was well-ground and sweet, and from this comes their name of Sweet Cornmeal Tasting Koyemsi. Since the Soyoko has not been performed on Third Mesa for over a half a century, this kachina no longer appears in this role, part of which is now played by Heheya Aumutaka.  The Tosonkoyemsi does not appear on First Mesa, and the Second Mesa form is radically different.

The Tosonkoyemsi wears a sack mask of the same style of the other Mudhead Katsinas.  He has round eyes and a mouth made of corn husks. He generally is fully wrapped in a blanket and wears traditional pueblo moccasins.  He carries no items in his hands.

This carving is an excellent representation of the Tosonkoyemsi Katsina.  It is probably from circa 1970s, is unsigned by the maker, and was most likely a gift to a Hopi girl.

Condition: this Hopi Tosonkoyemsi Katsina Doll is in very good condition

Provenance: from the estate of a gentleman from Santa Fe

Reference: Wright, Barton. Kachinas a Hopi Artist’s Documentary with Original Paintings by Cliff Bahnimptewa

Artist Unknown
26074-kachina.jpg26074-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.