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Wooden kachina / Native American; Zuni


Wooden Kachina. Carved Koyemsi (Hatashoka) assistant. Black fabric dress with white cotton string for belt. Nickel-plated bells at back. Black yarn at right wrist, bare feet. Knots on top of head, side, forehead, and back. Moveable arms and feet.

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)

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Wooden kachina; Zuni Doll
Native American; Zuni
early 20th century
wood, pigment, wool, cotton string, feathers, metal bells
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Not On View

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