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Wilson Tawaquaptewa (1871-1960)

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Picture of Wilson Tawaquaptewa of Hopi PuebloWilson Tawaquaptewa was born of the Bear Clan in the Hopi village of Oraibi, Third Mesa, Arizona, in the year 1873. Oraibi was the largest and most important Hopi villages at the time of Tawaquaptewa's birth, and the Bear Clan was among the most significant clans at Hopi.

In 1904, Tawaquaptewa became the village chief or Kikmongwi, and remained in this position despite health issues and political imprisonment (October 1906 - Summer 1909) until his death in 1960 (Walsh, American Indian Art, Winter 1998, pg. 53, quoting Whiteley 1988). After the split between the Friendlies and the Hostiles at Oraibi in 1906 (see Walsh, 1998), Tawaquaptewa began to produce Katsina figures, rattles, tabletas, dance wands, and other traditional Hopi accouterments.

Photo ca. 1944: Hopi Katsina: 1,600 Artist Biographies by Gregory and Angie Yan Schaaf.

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