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Wooden standing kachina / Native American; Hopi


Wooden Kachina. Painted black hair and face with a white headband, red mouth, yellow yoke, black shirt, off-white skirt, foxtail, and painted sash.

Kachinas are spirits that represent vital components of Hopi and Zuni life, history, and values, including rain, animals, plants, people, and germination. Hopi men make kachina dolls with intricate details that match the physical manifestation of the spirits. The dolls are carved from pieces of cottonwood root and then painted, originally with paint made from minerals and vegetables, and now, often from acrylic paint. Kachina dolls are given to infants, children, and women on special occasions, including birth, initiation, and marriage, and are used “to familiarize them with the kachinas’ characteristics” and “to assure to the recipient the benefits of intimate associate with the Hopi and Zuni supernaturals” (Furst and Furst 1982, 30). The dolls teach children the power of ceremony and of legends and Hopi history.

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Wooden standing kachina; Kachina; Chakwaina kachina
Native American; Hopi
early 20th century
Arizona, United States of America
wood, pigment, cottonwood
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Not On View

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