Kachina Doll (Kwahu [Eagle])
Arts of the Americas
Cottonwood root, acrylic pigment, feathers, yarn, leather
19 1/2 x 27 x 5 in. (49.5 x 68.6 x 12.7 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Edith and Hershel Samuels
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probably Henry Shelton (1929-2016). Kachina Doll (Kwahu [Eagle]), 1960-1970. Cottonwood root, acrylic pigment, feathers, yarn, leather, 19 1/2 x 27 x 5 in. (49.5 x 68.6 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith and Hershel Samuels, 2010.6.13. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2010.6.13.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Eagle Dancer (Kwahu) Kachina Doll. Artist probably Henry Shelton as he is stylistically like those he carved in body sculptural form and hand treatment. A Kachina with outstretched arms made from one piece of cottonwood root. His arms have real feathers and down on them. He wears a carved dance skirt, a bandolier and a pelt sash that hangs down in the back. His helmet style mask is blue, topped with a yarn band and feathers and circled with a yarn ruff around the bottom neck area. His eyes are black slits, his yellow beak is open. He wears yarn ties around his calves. Although unsigned, he is stylistically like those carved by Henry Shelton in body sculptural form and hand treatment.
The eagle dance is a prayer for good crops, rain, and plentiful eagle feathers as their feathers important in many ceremonies. The Kachina usually appears in a group of several forming a dance troop, squawking and imitating eagle behavior while the Koyemshi (mudhead clowns) sing to them. The sponsoring kiva must fast, abstain from sex, and no eating of salty or fatty foods before the dance.
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