Kachina du Nouveau Maïs
H. 31.5 cm
Hemis Katsina - New Corn Kachina doll
H. 12 2/8 in
- Inventory no. under the kilt: 911-7995
- Ex Cowan's, Sept. 18-19, 2004, lot 568
- Collection of Monsieur A. F., Paris
This 31.5 cm high Kachina figure represents the spirit of the New Corn. The Hopi call her Hemis. It represents the maturing corn and is a prayer for rain and germination.
Plants and cereals are of crucial importance to the Hopi, whose food resources are scarce. This is why many Kachina in the pantheon are related to plants, especially maize, beans and squash (the "Three Sisters"). The latter were the staple food in most of the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mesoamerica and the ancestral cultures of the Pueblos. They still play a crucial role in the traditional agricultural systems of the southwestern United States.
Hemis is one of the iconic Kachina of the Hopi. She opened the Niman dances (the ceremony of returning home after the summer solstice). She is decorated with many symbols marking the desire for rain.
References to sprouting and water are illustrated by a rich symbolic vocabulary painted on the doll and especially on her tablet, the tiered crown-shaped element surmounting the mask.
There are symbols of raindrops, rainbows and stylized corn cobs. The cut-out of the tablet is in the shape of the "stairs of the sky", with rainwater falling from the clouds.
The sculpture shown here is in the classic Kachina posture, standing with arms bent in front of the torso. The figure wears a shoulder strap and white armbands that stand out against the dark costume typical of the Hemis. The ceremonial belt, finely decorated with geometric motifs, falls on the right side.
This Kachina exudes remarkable poetry and presence.
Location of the item France - 75008 Paris