Open-Work Long Hair Kachina

Irvin Jojola


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This Long-Hair kachina was handmade by veteran San Felipe/Isleta carver, Irvin Jojola.

The intricate, openwork design was carved and painted by hand, from one piece of cottonwood – except for the base.

One-piece kachina carvings are uncommon, and, therefore, very sought-after.

Long Hair is a rain-bringer, the long hairs of his hair and beard representing a heavy rainfall.

The Hopi and Zuni are dependent on rain to irrigate crops, so he is a very important spirit.

This interpretation of Long Hair is brilliant in concept and execution.

Hovering above a series of cliff-dwellings, like the ancient Anasazi villages, the kachina literally envelops the dwellings, as if his blessing protects them.

Here, his hair is really, really long, swirling around from his head to the base of the piece.

With exceptional skill, the artist has carved an open-work spiral, that encloses the beautifully detailed, solid, cliff dwellings.

Windows, doors, exposed mud-brickwork, and staircases are meticulously shown.

It seems as if we can count every hair of the long beard and the longer sweep of his hairdo. They are carved into densely close swirls, that echo the graceful sweep of the paper-thin spiral of hair.

Eagle feathers decorate the head; symbols of prayers to the spirits for rain.

The detail is amazing; the sweeping helix of the hair is astonishing, artistically, visually, and in execution.

This kachina is not only authentic and fascinating in design, but it is also a full sculpture, good to look at from every angle.

A remarkable achievement, and very special – and a really great buy!

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