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Ground Hawk Kachina


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SKU: a103959 Category: Tags: ,


From the village of Shongopovi, this artist has been notable in several fields. The kachina carver/lawyer, now retired, was most actively carving during the 1980’s. Now an elder of the Hopi tribe, he devotes himself to informing younger people of the history and lore of his people, striving to ensure that they are not forgotten by future generations.

This Ground Hawk kachina is quite unusual. He holds padded sticks, which indicates that he is one of the Runner kachinas who appear during the spring dances. Hawks eat vermin, so that might be one of his attributes – to protect burgeoning crops – but Runners race village men, combining entertainment and spiritual meaning. Some say the racing men emulate water streaming down arroyos, so that would be another, very important function to encourage a good planting season.

With his large, round eyes (the better to see with, my dear) and minimal clothing – just a kilt, under the deerskin cape – which allows greater movement when racing, he has the major characteristics of the Runner kachinas. The sticks, which are padded in the real races, are there to throw at the losers. Like most Native ceremonies, the spring dances combine different functions: spiritual, of course, but also entertainment, spectacle, and feasting. This Ground Hawk is an example. With one leg up, he is about to take off, or to dance. the mask is meticulously carved, to resemble the fluffy feathers of a hawk. The two eagle feathers on his head are also realistically carved and painted.

The style is a pleasing combination of the simplicity of the traditional, and the realism of the modern. On a wooden base, painted in accents of vivid turquoise, red and gold, he is a striking and impressive carving.

Wood, Pigment, Leather

Width: 4 5/8″ Height: 13 7/8″ Depth: 4 1/4″