Antique Native American Hopi Carved Cow Katsina Doll
Antique Native American Hopi Carved Cow Katsina Doll by Earl Yowytewa
Cow Katsina (Wakas'katsina) is a male animal spirit messenger to the rain gods. His songs are prayers for plentiful animal life and symbolic of their self-sacrifice as food supply to sustain life. Cow Katsinam appear in the kiva night dances and during the Katsina day dances in the plaza. During the dance, spectators will remove juniper and/or feathers from this Katsina to place in their houses and corrals in hopes that their stock will increase. This particular Katsina was carved by Hopi artist Earl Yowyetwa in the early 1970s. It is a wonderful example of Hopi carving and shows the power of the man who is performing the dance. This Katsina has an elaborate feather headdress accented by red horsehair over his face. His neck is ringed with green wool (spruce). He wears a string necklace that is painted to look like turquoise and shell. He wears yarn wraps at his wrist and knee, his right knee has a turtle shell (carved from wood) tied to the back. This doll has an old stress crack in the wood on the back of his right leg. This crack will not change as it happened as the wood finished drying. This is a wonderful example of a Katsina from that era.
19 in. tall