Tasaf Yeibichai Katsina, Navajo Talking God Kachina Doll [SOLD]


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Carver Unknown

In Hopi Kachina Dolls with a Key to their Identification, Harold S. Colton illustrates the masks of the Navajo Talking God katsina for First and Third Hopi Mesas. The face is different in each example. This carving more closely resembles his illustration for First Mesa.

In Kachinas: a Hopi artist's documentary, Barton Wright states that the illustration is of the one most commonly seen but does not differentiate which Hopi Mesa his illustration depicts.

This carving of the katsina differs slightly in the face presentation, in that there are no painted ears of corn on both cheeks, and the pointed beak on this doll differs from the painted mouth of the illustration.

The face on this carving shows the corn plant as a prominent feature of the face, as illustrated in Colton and Wright. Something on the right ear is missing on this carving. The painted body and clothing of this carving depict the elaborate style of the Yeibichai Katsina. He wears a turquoise nugget necklace with jacla, arm bands on both arms, clouds and rain on the back of the head, an elaborately painted kilt, a prominent fox tail and tall moccasins. The Navajo Talking God is a beautifully presented doll.

"The Grandfather of the Navajo Kachina is one of the more enjoyable features of the Navajo Kachina Dance. He does not speak but pantomimes whatever he wants. He starts the dance, acting as a leader in both singing and dancing. His dance step is an exaggeration, and a very lively one, that may be interspersed with a comic action such as the request for food-mountains of food. All of these requests are done in pantomimes that bring laughter to the audience. The Grandfather or Uncle has several variations." [Wright, 1973:182]

There is a very old paper tag hanging on this doll with a price of $25.00, an indication of his old age.

Condition: Minor paint abrasions mostly on the kilt, broken left toes.

Provenance: this Tasaf Yeibichai Katsina, Navajo Talking God Kachina Doll is from the collection of a client from California


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

- Wright, Barton. Kachinas: A Hopi artist's documentary

Alternate close up view of the face of this Katsina.


Carver Unknown
C4647B-kachina.jpgC4647B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.