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Kachina Doll, Koshare Clown

Arts of the Americas

On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
CULTURE Hopi Pueblo
MEDIUM Wood (likely cottonwood), plant fibers, fabric, paint, cord
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES late 20th century
    DIMENSIONS height: 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
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2013.64.11
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Joan and Sanford Krotenberg
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Hopi Pueblo. Kachina Doll, Koshare Clown, late 20th century. Wood (likely cottonwood), plant fibers, fabric, paint, cord, height: 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.
    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.
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    Hopi Pueblo. <em>Kachina Doll, Koshare Clown</em>, late 20th century. Wood (likely cottonwood), plant fibers, fabric, paint, cord, height: 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)