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Hopi Pueblo La Lai Aya Katsina, Sheep Herder Kachina Doll By Brian Honyouti by Brian Honyouti

Hopi Pueblo La Lai Aya Katsina, Sheep Herder Kachina Doll By Brian Honyouti

by Brian Honyouti

Publication: Carved By Brian Honyouti, 1993, N P

This Sheep Herder katsina doll is a marvel of what a carver could accomplish, particularly one who had sight problems as did Hopi Pueblo carver Brian Honyouti. The first thing to be impressed with is the action achieved in a one-piece carving. The doll stands on one foot, with the other one raised in motion. His left arm is raised in action as he shakes a gourd rattle in the other hand. On his head, the group of feathers display fine lines throughout, as do the feathers on the rod in his hand. This Hopi Pueblo La lai Aya Katsina, Sheep Herder Kachina Doll by Brian Honyouti is in original fine condition. The doll’s torso is in three depths—the body itself is carved to reflect the pectoral and stomach muscles, then a higher layer is the crossed bandolier straps across his chest, and the third and final layer is the turquoise necklace. Rotating the doll to get a view of the back side reveals another amazing level of carving. The katsina’s hair is long and flowing in alignment with his motion, the loin cloth is rippling as it overlays the fox tail hanging to the dancer's ankle. The red horse-hair skirt is etched in lines to display individual hairs. Initials of the artist - Brian Honyouti, Hopi Pueblo CarverThe pedestal has the head of a Ram Katsina on the front edge, and a carved head of a ram on the back side. Carved into the pedestal is BH, the initials of the carver. The Sheep Herder katsina is a relatively rare carving. It is not featured in Barton Wright’s books, nor in Harold Colton’s book, nor in Alph Secakuku’s book on Hopi katsins. The only published image of which we are aware is of the painting by Neil David in our Avanyu Publishing book on katsinas. When we were preparing to publish Neil David’s paintings of katsina dolls as an Avanyu Publishing, Inc. book, we showed the paintings to Hopi men in the villages of the three mesas. For interest, I am repeating their comments on this katsina. Shungopavi, Second Mesa: This is really a side dancer rather than a sheep herder Kachina. He dances alongside the Palung hoya or Echo Kachina. He yells at the lead singer. Kykotsmovi, Third Mesa: This is a First Mesa Kachina strictly. At Third Mesa he is a caretaker or owner of buffalo, deer, antelope, etc. He carries a blue rattle which makes an unusual sound from special glass-like granite collected from one spot on Third Mesa Old Oraibi, Third Mesa. This Kachina is usually danced by a boy. The tale is that: “A boy was thrown out of his house and grew up with the wild animals. He came back as a Kachina to visit his mother. If his mother recognized him and claimed him, he would return to her as a boy. She did not recognize him and thus he remained a Kachina.” It is interesting to see the various versions of the katsina. Neil David is a resident of First Mesa, so it is understandable that this carving, which closely resembles his painting, is the First Mesa version. Provenance: Exhibited in 1994 at Adobe Gallery’s annual Honyouti family show. Sold to a client at that time from whom the Adobe Gallery in Santa Fe purchased back in 2021. This Hopi Pueblo La lai Aya Katsina, Sheep Herder Kachina Doll by Brian Honyouti is in original fine condition.

Inventory Number: 48000

$7,500.00