Skip Navigation

Kachina Doll

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Cottonwood root, acrylic pigment, feathers, yarn, leather
DATES 1960-1970
DIMENSIONS 19 1/2 x 27 x 5 in. (49.5 x 68.6 x 12.7 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE not signed
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Edith and Hershel Samuels
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
CAPTION probably Henry Shelton (born 1929). Kachina Doll, 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
IMAGE overall, 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.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Kachina Doll