Hopituh Shi-nu-mu Ma’alo Katsina Doll

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Once Known Native American Carver

This Hopituh Shi-nu-mu (Hopi Pueblo) Ma'alo Katsina Doll doll appears to date to the mid-twentieth century. It was carved from cottonwood root and painted with matte commercial paints. Except for the feathers on his head, it is an all-wood carving. The face is that of the Ma'alo Katsina, however, he has ears that differ from those that are standard. The traditional Ma'alo has a blossom for one ear and hair falling over the other ear.

Ma'alo Katsina was one of the most popular of the katsinam in dances around 1900. He was often in the Niman dances along with Hemis, Angak'china, and Kuwan Heheya. He usually appeared with Takursh Mana as his sister, dancing in a separate line alongside him. For some reason, he is not often seen in dances today. This is not unusual in that katsinas appear and disappear from time to time.

This katsina normally appeared as a Niman Katsina on First Mesa and danced at other ceremonies on Second and Third Mesas. He is one of the older traditional Hopi katsinas from the early period of katsina development. He performs a dance that portrays a prayer for rain and good crop yield.


What is a Katsina?

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Hopituh Shi-nu-mu Ma'alo Katsina Doll is  from the collection of a gallery client

Reference: Kachinas: a Hopi artist’s documentary by Barton Wright

TAGS: Kachina – Katsina DollHopi Pueblo

Alternate close-up view of the Katsina face.

Once Known Native American Carver
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