Arts of the Americas
On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
Cottonwood root, acrylic pigment, silver discs, yarn, silk ribbon, fur, beads
20 1/2 x 7 x 8 in. (52.1 x 17.8 x 20.3 cm) (show scale)
H. Shelton, drawn arrow underneath, on bottom
Gift of Edith and Hershel Samuels
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Henry Shelton (born 1929). Kachina Doll, 1960-1970. Cottonwood root, acrylic pigment, silver discs, yarn, silk ribbon, fur, beads, 20 1/2 x 7 x 8 in. (52.1 x 17.8 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith and Hershel Samuels, 2010.6.8. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2010.6.8.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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Sun (Tawa) Kachina Doll. This Kachina is carved from one piece of cottonwood root. This Kachina has a large circular headdress of carved white feathers with black tips surrounding a circular face. The face has the bottom half blue with black slits for eyes, triangle for mouth and two parallel lines on either side of mouth. The top of face is bisected with yellow, black and red stripes making a forehead design. The back of the headdress has real feathers. Across his back is a silk ribbon bandolier. The carved wood sash in back has carved fox pelt. The figure has a flesh colored chest with Pl breast yellow and PR breast turquoise. He wears a carved dance kilt and boots. His knees wear leather leg bands decorated with bells and yarn. His raised PR arm and hand holds a gourd rattle and his lowered PL arm and hand carries a flute.
This Kachina is very rarely seen in public because thir performance is part of sacred ceremonies reserved only for specific clans. Tawa, a spiritual being seldem appears.Tawa (Sun) kachina dancer wears a radiating headdress made from yucca fibers, and carries a gourd rattle and a flute. He may appear in mixed kachina dances but this is unusual as he rarely appears in major public events. Tawa does not belong to any specific men’s kiva group but will appear on request in their sacred ceremonies. All the stories about him relate to his interactions with people and animals and how he contributed to earth’s creation.
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