Kachina Doll, Koshare Clown
Arts of the Americas
On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
Wood (likely cottonwood), plant fibers, fabric, paint, cord
late 20th century
15 × 5 1/4 × 7 in. (38.1 × 13.3 × 17.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed under foot: "Clown"
Gift of Joan and Sanford Krotenberg
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.
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)
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