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A vintage Hopi Hemis Kachin-Mana Kachina doll, possibly by James Kewanytewa (Jimmy K.) c. 1930’s-40’s

A beautiful and extremely expressive older Hopi Kachin Mana Kachina doll from around the 1930’s-40’s. The female Kachin mana figure appears in a number of Hopi Kachina dances, generally alongside their male counterparts, the “Ang” or “Long Hair” Kachinas as seen pictured below. This particular version of the Kachin Mana, the Hemis Mana Kachina, also appears with the male Hemis Kachinas in the “Niman” or “Going Home” dance ceremony at the end of each summer season when the Hopi Kachina spirits ritually leave the Hopi mesas and return to their ancestral, winter “Home” in the San Francisco Peaks just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Jimmy K. holding a  Polikmana Kachina doll of his making, c. 1950

Photo source and © Northern Arizona University

Ang (Long Hair) Kachinas

“The Long Hair Katsina is a singer of sweet songs who brings rain and flowers. His beard and loose tassels of feathers symbolize rain and clouds. They appear as dancers in a group at Niman and at plaza dances with manas. Their purpose is to bring rain, and it is said that they seldom dance without the appearance of a soft gentle rain. The Long Hair is danced from the Rio Grande to the Hopi Mesas in almost the same form.  Among the Hopis there are many varieties but the regular Angak'china is the one shown here.  They appear in a group and sing a very melodious song which may be one of the reasons that they are such favorites.”

-Barton Wright

Male Hemis Kachina figure

Illustration source and © “Hopi Kachinas” by Edwin Earle,

Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation, 1971

Hemis Kachinas in the Niman Kachina ceremony or “Home Dance”at Shungopavi Village,Second Mesa c. 1901

Photo source and © A.C. Vroman, Photographer of the Southwest, Ward Ritchie Press 1961

Female Hemis Kachin-Mana figure

Illustration source and © “Hopi Kachinas” by Edwin Earle,

Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation, 1971

Henis Kachinas going “home” to the San Francisco Peaks

Illustration source and © “Hopi Kachinas” by Edwin Earle,

Museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation, 1971

The spiritual winter “home” of the Hopi Kachina spirits, The San Francisco Peaks outside Flagstaff, Arizona

Photo source and © Wikipedia

A description of the Hemis Mana kachina by Hopi kachina doll authority, Dr. Harold S. Colton, Founder of The Museum of Northern Arizona

Photo source and © “Hopi Kachina Dolls” by Harold S. Colton, UNM Press, 1959

The blocky, somewhat square-ish squat shape of the figure’s body, the bold style of the painting, the colors and texture of the paint itself and the doll’s solid, straightforward, slightly-cocked stance all remind us of Jimmy K.’s pieces, but since it is impossible to know for certain we will just call it a great older historic Hopi Kachina doll and leave it (and price it) at that.

This lovely Hemis Kachin mana would be a charming and delightful addition to any collection of Hopi Kachinas

or other Southwestern art works.

Price $2,150


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This doll is traditionally made of carved and panted cottonwood root and measures 8 1/4” tall and it is 3 1/4" wide

at its widest point at the bottom of the figure's Manta blanket dress and sash. The doll is in remarkably excellent original vintage condition, particularly for its 80-90 years of age, with a small piece missing from the figure’s left hair whorl, which could be very easily restored, if desired. The paint on the figure is nealry pristine and retail all its wonderful, original surface texture. The doll is unsigned as befits its age, but it bears a very distinct resemblance to numerous other signed dolls we have seen by the distinguished Hopi Kachina carver, James Kewanytewa, widely known as Jimmy K. (1889-1966), who often did not sign many of his dolls, particularly the earlier ones.