This is a remarkable kachina, so forgive me if I rhapsodize over it.
It is a wonderfully animated, meticulously detailed, painted and stained figure of Soyok Wuhti, the Ogre Woman.
Both entertainment and bogeyman figure, she appears on First Mesa, on Hopi land, during the spring planting ceremonies.
Scary-looking, she implores children to help her hunt or grind meal and if they refuse, threatens to catch them and eat them.
She later reappears with a group of other ogres and monster kachinas, with a long crook, to catch children, and a bloody knife.
Often, there is a basket on her back, to keep the cut-up bodies, supposedly.
Children, of course, are deliciously scared; they scatter with squeals of delighted fear.
This kachina is a brilliant example of this ogre, who thrills every child, Hopi or not.
Carved with exemplary skill, every detail is precise and composed with verve.
Note the overlapping leather flaps on her moccasins to the long, greying hair and beard, to her beautifully shaped hands – complete with fingernails and knuckles.
This figure is obviously carved by a master, and he uses only a very sharp little knife.
We can almost count every hair in that abundant beard and hairdo. The fringes on her sash, and the hem of her manta (dress) are visible and varied; her long sleeves are draped.
On her back, the basket looks woven in rows, just like real ones.
The little Mudhead figure, who is acting as lookout, wears feathers on his head, an inlaid turquoise cornrow bracelet and an inlaid ketoh (wrist guard) on his arms, and a softly draped turquoise kerchief around his neck.
His hands are also carved with naturalistic delicacy.
Aside from scrupulous detail, there is dramatic movement. Her beard and hair sway, along with the snap of her head, as she seeks “victims”.
One foot is partially raised, as she steps forward in her quest. Her cloak is obviously heavy, as it flares away from her upraised hand and the long crook.
The figure is placed on a base stained and carved to resemble the rocky ground of the Hopi mesas.
Aside from his evident talent as a carver, Timothy patiently works with Windsor-Newton artists’ oil colors, rather than tempera or acrylic paints.
Therefore, his figures are different from many other fine kachina artists’, in the depth and richness of the colors.
This allows him to modulate his effects from saturated, as in the bright reds of tongue and sash, to barely there, as in the base and the hands.
Enough said; this figure makes its own statement without any words whatsoever, and it is absolutely fabulous.