Skip Navigation

Kachina Doll, Koshare Clown

Arts of the Americas

CULTURE Hopi Pueblo
MEDIUM Wood (likely cottonwood), plant fibers, fabric, paint, cord
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES late 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 15 × 5 1/4 × 7 in. (38.1 × 13.3 × 17.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed under foot: "Clown"
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2013.64.11
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Joan and Sanford Krotenberg
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Koshare clown, striped black and white figure playing a drum while shaking a rattle.He wears leather boots.This sacred clown kachina is associated with fertility, rain, sun, corn and corn pollen, associations that give him power. He also plays a dual role of personifying supernatural spirits and society controller. By parodying the behavior of the audience he often involves them in laughter producing skits. Such theatrics have a serious side in that they demonstrate behavior that is unacceptable.No one, Hopi or non-Hopi in the audience is safe from their ridicule. In this way Koshares serve an important function as the keepers of societal behavior norms. Men who fulfill this role do not inherit the right nor are they appointed. Instead they choose it as an important vocation.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Hopi Pueblo. Kachina Doll, Koshare Clown, late 20th century. Wood (likely cottonwood), plant fibers, fabric, paint, cord, 15 × 5 1/4 × 7 in. (38.1 × 13.3 × 17.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Joan and Sanford Krotenberg, 2013.64.11. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.2013.64.11_front.jpg)
    IMAGE front, CUR.2013.64.11_front.jpg., 2018
    "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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    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 fill out our online application form (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
    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.