Fred Koruh is Hopi, but married into Zuni, where he resides. He is also a medicine man, so his kachina carvings are scrupulously authentic.
This monumental double kachina has used the natural form of the dead cottonwood root. Cottonwood tree roots grow deep down, to find water.
Because of this, they are deemed almost as precious as water, by the dry farming Hopi and Zuni.
Using only the dead roots does no harm to living trees, another sign of respect for their symbols as water-seekers.
Two of the chief kachinas are shown in this one-piece carving, Crow Mother and Eototo. Both are seen especially in the Spring, in dances that hope to ensure a good planting season and abundant harvest.
As is traditional, the heads are especially detailed, so girls and young boys will recognize the kachinas represented by masked dancers, during the ceremonies.
Crow Mother is especially colorful and decorative, with her spectacular feathered headdress, necklace, decorated blanket, and sash.
She symbolically ensures a proper start to the growing season, and also initiates children into ceremonial lore.
Eototo, although rather unassuming in his simplicity, is considered the chief of all kachinas, knowing all the ceremonies.
He calls forth clouds and rain, to bring precious moisture to the coming plants.
In this carving, he is dressed up in a fine shirt and kilt, with necklace and vivid sash, as well. Notice his finely detailed hands.
Both figures are both carved and etched, as well as colored vibrantly. in places. The wood is smoothly finished and otherwise left in its natural state.
They seem to emerge from a pottery bowl, decorated with rain signs. This is a variation of one creation myth, that states that all men emerged from a hole in the earth.
Altogether, this is an imposing example of traditional kachina carving, since the bodies are relatively abstract.
The concept of both figures rising from a bowl is effective, as well as authentic, and joins the two figures in a satisfying manner.
Powerful in its simplicity and stature, this is a very personal version of Hopi lore, by an accomplished carver and medicine man.