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Published Painting of a Pair of Nataska Katsinas


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Raymond Naha (1933-1975)
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Hopi Pueblo
  • Medium: tempera on paper
  • Size:
    16” x 20” image;
    23-1/2” x 27-1/2” framed
  • Item # C3839G
  • Price: $2,250.00

Raymond Naha was a Hopi-Tewa Indian from the village of Polacca at First Mesa.  He attended the Polacca Day School and then Oraibi High School where he studied for a year under the tutelage of Fred Kabotie.  Naha had a natural talent for painting and was encouraged by Kabotie to pursue his interest.  Under his own initiative Naha took several correspondence courses and attended the Phoenix Indian School.  As so many others, he served four years in the Army.


Naha, who most often painted scenes of large groups of dancers in the plaza or in a kiva ceremony, painted just a pair of Nataska Katsinas in this painting.  There are no other features to distract the viewer.  As typical of his paintings, they provide a fine ethnological study of these dreaded Hopi katsinas.  The mask, clothing, jewelry paraphernalia in the hands and body paint all reflect a true picture of these Katsinas


The Nataska always appear as a pair accompanying the Soyoko on their collecting tour of Hopi homes.  They frighten the children who have been told that they will haul them off and eat them whole.  The children are petrified of the Nataska.  They serve as disciplinarians to the children.


Raymond Naha (1933-1974) signatureThis painting is published in Clara Lee Tanner’s book referenced below, on page 273. Tanner states “Naha’s compositions vary considerably, from loose and scattered arrangements to tight, closed lines of dancers.  Despite these extremes, one is seldom critical of either, for the subjects comfortably fill the space available and the action or lack of it, or the nature of the subject, counters any undesirable effects of figure placement.”


Condition: this Published Painting of a Pair of Nataska Katsinas appears to be in original condition.  Currently framed with archival materials.


- Dr. and Mrs. Byron C. Butler

- Sotheby’s Auction

- From a California estate

Reference:  Southwest Indian Painting a changing art by Clara Lee Tanner

Close up image of one of the Natsaka Katsinas