Hopi Kachina impersonators dance mask ‘Mana’
Hopi Kachina impersonators dance mask ‘Mana’
Hopi Kachina impersonators dance mask ‘Mana’

Hopi Kachina impersonators dance mask ‘Mana’

1800 to 2000 North America

Offered by Finch & Co


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A Hopi Kachina impersonators dance mask ‘Mana’ of leather painted with clay pigments and a beard of human hair sinew attachments
Size: 16.5cm high, 18cm wide – 6½ ins high, 7 ins wide
48cm long – 19 ins long (with beard) / 145cm high – 57 ins high (with stand)
Provenance: Ex European Private collection
See: Finch & Co catalogue no. 20, item no. 17, for another dance mask and catalogue no. 8, item no. 73, for a Hopi Kachina effigy doll
cf: Denver Art Museum (cat no. NL-2) for a comparable example
In spite of the many foreign intrusions the Pueblo culture of the Hopi never lost its basic form. Corn or maize was always their principal crop and to the Hopi corn is life, for it has sustained them throughout their history. Their religious systems maintain a complex and all persuasive pattern of seasonal ritual dances in which masked and traditionally adorned men take the roles of supernatural spirits the ‘Kachinas’. These beings are the messengers to the gods and representations of the gods on earth. They are the friends and allies of humans and conveyors of their prayers to the gods. They are the spirits of the ancestors, but also embody the spiritual essence of all things, from ashes to stars. They come to visit humans during the period between the Winter solstice and their return to the underworld in July. They are said to dwell in the San Francisco Peaks, north of Flagstaff, Arizona.
During the season the Kachinas are impersonated by members of the men’s associations wearing masks such as these that envelope the head. Dancing and chanting songs the men become the supernatural beings, ‘Kachina’ and are able to converse with the gods. The Hopi continue to lead traditional lives, and although they embrace education and some modern technology, everyone returns home from working in the cities to take part in the dance festivals.
Leather, Cord, Human Hair
Finch & Co

Finch & Co
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