Mid-twentieth Century Hopi Pueblo Kwahu, Eagle Katsina Doll Carving


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Carver Unknown

Birds of different types are represented among the Katsinam, but the most popular and most sought-after is the Kwahu or Eagle Katsina. The feathers of an eagle are very important in all Hopi ceremonies. The Eagle Dance is a colorful dance and a prayer for moisture, good crop yield, and plentiful eagle feathers. The sponsoring Kiva members must fast, abstaining from eating salty and fatty foods, and contact with the opposite sex, before the dance. March is the time of year one might see the Eagle Katsina performing in a night ceremony at Hopi. The dancer imitates the step and motion and cry of the eagle almost to perfection.

The wings of the eagle were carved from wood—a feature that has preserved the wings from deterioration of feathers.  The wings were attached to the arms with leather strips. He wears a fur ruff around his neck and carries a feather in each hand and a single feather on his head.  

The doll appears to be from the mid-twentieth century and is in very good condition.  He does not stand independently as he was made to be hung by the string on his back.  A stand could be fabricated if desired

What is a Kachina?

Condition: this Mid-twentieth Century Hopi Pueblo Kwahu, Eagle Katsina Doll Carving  is in very good condition

Provenance: from the collection of a gentleman from Santa Fe

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

TAGS: Kachina – Katsina Doll, Hopi Pueblo

Carver Unknown
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