This Hopi Kachina is called the Tsitoto, and it is the Tobacco Flower Kachina. Carved from wood, the Kachina has a colorful mask of green, yellow, red, and black, along with a long beak, feather headdress, and real leather traditional cape and kilt. Barton Wright--who wrote Kachinas: a Hopi Artists Documentary--had this to say about Tsitoto: "Tsitoto is an ancient kachina who appears on all three mesas in many ceremonies. He may appear in the Palolokong Ceremony and the Mixed Kachina Dances as well as in the Powamu and Pachavu Ceremonies. The many bands of color and the feathers present a rainbow-like appearance, and he looks like a walking prayer for summer. However, at least one of his functions seems to be purification. In this role he carries a small bunch of yucca blades and strikes each individual that he meets a rather firm blow whether he be a child or an adult, Hopi or White. The kachina appears like this most often in the Bean Dance." I come across many kachinas yet pass on most as their organic feathers and other parts rarely survive the passage of time. This piece, however, is in good condition and more detailed than many I find. It is signed, and I believe the artist's name is P. Smith. There are several Native American kachina carvers with the last name Smith. I know little about this particular artist. This piece is said to be from the 1980s.
This kachina measures 12" tall by about 5-1/2" deep and 4-1/2" wide. The base is 7" by 6". The base, cut from a wood log, is just over 3" in diameter. In good vintage condition.
A beautiful piece of Native culture.
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