Published Hopi Pueblo Painting of a Pair of Nataska Katsinas by Raymond Naha

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Raymond Naha, Hopi Pueblo Painter

This Native American Painting by Raymond Naha of a pair of Hopi Pueblo Nataska Katsinas is impressive in its imagery.  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 terrified of the Nataska.  They serve as disciplinarians of the children.

In her book Southwest Indian Painting a changing art Clara Lee 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.”

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.

Raymond Naha (1933-1975) signatureThe 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 terrified of the Nataska.  They serve as disciplinarians of the children.


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

Provenance:

     - Dr. and Mrs. Byron C. Butler

     - Sotheby’s Auction

     - From a California estate

Reference:  Southwest Indian Painting a changing art by Clara Lee Tanner.  This image is published in this book on page 273.

Relative Links: Raymond NahaFred KabotieKatsinas - Kachina DollsHopi PuebloNative American Paintings

Close up view of one of the Katsinas.