The Sun Kachina Doll

The Hopi, or “Peaceful People”, inhabit lands in the Southwest. Native Americans celebrate spirits related to almost every aspect of life. Kachina dolls are handcrafted by the Hopi Indians. Corn was essential to the Indian way of life. The Sun was the spirit that gave this nourishing food by its blessings of light. Water was also essential and often the Hopi faced drouts in the region because of the powerful Sun. Kachina spirits were said to move between the San Francisco mountains to the Hopi lands bringing much needed rain. Kachina ceremonies were held in the Hopi villages to celebrate these life sustaining forces. Men of the Hopi tribe appear in ceremonial dances masked and in brilliantly colored costumes. Kachinas represent the spiritual and earthly elements of life. There are over nine hundred Kachina figures that have been documented and revealed in myths.

As part of the Hopi way of life, children were given Kachinas so that they could relate to their spiritual meanings. Kachina dolls can vary in size anywhere from a few inches to almost two feet tall. They can also range in price depending on the artist and the type of materials used. Authentic Kachinas should be accompanied by the artist’s signature and a certificate if being promoted as a Native American or Hopi collectible.

Representative of the spirit of the Sun, the “Tawa” or Sun Kachina is a striking figure. Also referred to also as the Sun Shield Kachina, the Sun Kachina Doll carries a spruce tree in his left hand while holding a bell in his right. As part of a Mixed Dance, he holds a flute and this has been shared throughout Hopi myths. The magnificent headdress of feathers Tawa wears encircles his face hidden by a colorful round mask. The mask is split between a blue bottom half and the top that is vertically split into orange and yellow halves. The dancing figure wears a white skirt topped by a brown belt. The spruce tree, bell and flute are elements described in the myths told by the Hopi people. The Sun Kachina Doll is a valuable piece to add to any collection of Kachinas. The Kachina dolls truly capture the powerful imagery of these spirits revered by Native Americans. For those who appreciate Native American craftsmanship and Southwestern Native American culture, this Sun Kachina Doll will be the item you want to admire.

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