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Zuni Long Horn Priest of the North - Saiyatasha Katsina Doll

C3535-62-kachina.jpg

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Duane Dishta (1946-2011)
  • Category: Traditional
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: Cottonwood Root, fabric, turquoise, yarn
  • Size: 16" tall
  • Item # C3535.62
  • Price: $2,950.00

Saiyatasha, the Rain Priest of the North, is an important katsina whose only appearance is in the Shalako Ceremony. It is he who controls the weather, provides longevity to the people and protection from their enemies. Zuni informants once described his function as bringing long life to the Zuni people. His short right eye is to make the lives of the witches short and his long left eye is to provide for long life for the good people.

 

During his period of impersonating Saiyatasha, the Zuni man holds a position of great responsibility, power and prestige and assumes the rank and importance of one of the major priests of Zuni. It is he who must decide the ceremonial calendar for the year and must watch over the phases of the moon for the full year. He sets the date of the Shalako Ceremonies and insures that they do not conflict with other ceremonial events. He must learn all of the lengthy prayers, chants, and speeches while attending nightly meetings that last from the Zuni New Year until Shalako. In addition, he is required to make journeys to springs from four to eight miles distant to offer prayers each month during the year. He must also pray to the sun each day and work to prevent the frosts of spring and fall since he represents a katsina who makes the days warm.

 

The above information was excerpted from the out-of-print book Kachinas of the Zuni by Barton Wright with original paintings provided by Duane Dishta. This Zuni Long Horn Priest of the North - Saiyatasha Katsina Doll is not signed, but was shown to Dishta who identified it as one he made in the 1960s.

 

Condition:  both arms are separated at the elbows which are encased in the shirt sleeves so there is no convenient way to get to the elbows to glue them, otherwise, the doll is in very good condition.

Provenance: from the collection of a family from Oregon to whom we sold this doll in 2010 and now have it back to sell again.

Close up of this Katsina Doll

Duane Dishta (1946-2011)
  • Category: Traditional
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo
  • Medium: Cottonwood Root, fabric, turquoise, yarn
  • Size: 16" tall
  • Item # C3535.62
  • Price: $2,950.00

C3535-62-kachina.jpgC3535-62-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.