Jimmy Kewanwytewa (1889-1966) Jimmy K


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Picture of Jimmy Kewanwytewa Hopi Pueblo. Photo courtesy of Gregory Schaaf.Jimmy Kewanetewa, Jimmie K, Jimmy Kewanwytewa, Jim Kewanwytewa, James S. Kewanwytewa, Hopi Pueblo, Short Corn Clan, active ca. 1910-1966: carvings, rattles, rabbit sticks, embroidery, moccasins, leather leggings, drums and a singer. Jimmie K was the first Hopi to sign Katsina carvings. He began this practice in the 1940s and although it was controversial at the time, many other Hopi soon followed suit. Jimmie K was a dynamic, charismatic individual who educated thousands of visitors to the MNA. He sang traditional Hopi songs, provided countless demonstrations on Katsina carving, and gave lectures about Hopi traditions and culture.

Jimmy's obituary in Plateau Magazine stated in part: "During his thirty-two years of service to the Museum of Northern Arizona, Jimmy became an institution himself. Thousands of people throughout the country were his friends, and greeted him enthusiastically on every return visit. He was the embodiment of the Hopi way of life and will live forever in the hearts of all who knew him." (Plateau Journal Summer 1966:71.)

Variations of his name: Jimmy Kewanetewa, Jimmie K, Jimmy Kewanwytewa, Jim Kewanwytewa, James S. Kewanwytewa. 

Photo courtesy: Hopi Katsina: 1,600 Artist Biographies by Gregory and Angie Schaaf.

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