Noted for his exquisitely detailed and realistic kachina figures, this master carver occasionally creates more abstract pieces, as well. This imposingly sized double kachina is one of these “modern” ones, which really hark back to the more traditional, less realistic carvings.
Hano Mana is also called Tewa Girl, and she (and her male counterpart, Hano Taka) appears in the pre-planting season Bean Dance. As such, she represents the hope and wish for a good harvest, with enough to eat over the next winter, and is a good luck symbol. As well, since she presages the abundance of plant life, she is somewhat of a fertility symbol, often shown holding ears of corn, and decorated with flowers. A cradle version is often given to infants as their first, or second, cradle gift.
In this amazingly tall and colorful carving, which really qualifies as a sculpture, the artist has used the characteristics of the cottonwood root as his inspiration.The long hair of the Hano Mana, at the top, flows around and down, blending with, and twining around, the hair of the Hano Taka, below. This graceful, swirling and tapered form defines the design, incorporating both figures in one swirl. Interestingly, it is kept in the natural wood color, although beautifully carved and finished.
The Hano Mana, at top, is carved and painted in a more realistic manner, with her heishi jewelry carefully detailed. Her lustrous dark manta (dress) is gracefully painted, from off-shoulder top to pretty red hem. The traditional embroidered sash is carved and painted with lovely realism, too. Her face is painted as the dancer’s mask would appear in the Bean Dance.
Below, the male Hano Taka appears to be supporting his female counterpart, up above. He, too wears a beautifully painted and colorful blanket, and a handsome heishi necklace, with every disk carved out and painted. His face, as well, is painted as a dancer’s mask.
Large, and brilliantly colored flowers flow over the cottonwood base, signifying the Spring abundance that these kachinas are supposed to ensure. There are rain symbols on the hem of the male’s robe, and his bright green also suggests new leaves and shoots.
Majestic in size, and effect, this is the largest piece we have ever had, by this wonderful artist..He carved the figures from one piece, using only a knife, as usual, and the paints he generally uses are fine, artists’ oil paints. Not sure what kind of paint he used here, but the colors and shading are gorgeous, as well as traditional. Like any sculpture, it looks good from every angle.
A monumental carving in every way, and happy the collector who snags it!