Kachina Doll – Flak Gallery

North America | Arizona

Kachina doll


Sio Shalako Katsina – Kachina Shalako

Carved wood (cottonwood) and pigments
Height: 23.5 cm

Ex collection Steve Nelson, Californie
Ex private collection, United States
Ex Bonhams, San Francisco, 4 dec. 2017, lot 42
Ex private collection, New York, acquired for sale above


Kachina dolls (katsinam) represent the spirits or gods of the pantheon of the Pueblo Indians of the Southwestern United States. Offered to children, the kachinas were an educational tool allowing them to familiarize themselves with the spiritual world and to perpetuate the knowledge of the founding myths within society.

Superb rare and old example of a kachina depicting the messenger of the rain “Sio Shalako”.
Appearances of this spirit are rare in the Kachina Hopi calendar. His dance usually occurs when the need for rain is most intense.
This spirit originally comes from the Zuni neighbors and seems to have integrated the Hopi pantheon during the first part of the 19th century. The prefix “Sio” in the name of this kachina (Sio Shalako) means in the Hopi language “coming from the neighbors Zuni”.
The first known dance of Sio Shalako on the Hopi mesas dates back to the 1850s. In the seminal work “Dolls of the Tusayan Indians”, published by the Heye Foundation, Museum of the American Indian in New York in 1894, Jesse Walter Fewkes illustrates a spectacular example of this kachina (page 19, plate VIII).


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