Navajo kachina figure

This painted and feathered figure, called a kachina doll, represents a wolf-faced dancing man. He has a bow, and a textile loin cloth with Native American patterns on leather. In the Hopi pueblo culture of the south-west United States, kachinas are a diverse group of spirits who visit the villages in spring time, bringing rain, fertility and good luck if they are respected. Dolls representing the spirits were originally made for children's religious training. Around 1900, Hopi began making kachinas to sell to a white market, and the dolls became more varied and decorative over time. Kachinas made today are very intricate and expensive. Navajo people also began making dolls to sell - the wolf-hunter theme of this doll is typically Navajo. This one is Late Action Era (1945-present), and was made at some time before 1989. In Navajo dolls, the right hand typically holds a spear while the left holds a bow, and the pose and looped hand suggest that this figure should have a spear.

Museum reference:
CUKDM-1989-32
Date:
1905
On display:
In Storage: Museums
Dimensions:
height: 280mm
width: 152m
depth: 90mm
Materials:
wood, string, textile
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