This style of work began to evolve around 1970 and was accelerated when Hopis were not allowed to sell katsinas that had migratory bird feathers - not even of those birds which could be legally hunted, like ducks. While some carvers worked with grouse, pheasant and pigeon feathers, others found a receptive audience for carved wooden feathers, which were not susceptible to damage from moths and crickets. In time very highly detailed work emerged, along with the concept of 'one piece carvings' - dolls which were carved without anything being carved separately and added on. (the problem is that cottonwood root is soft and carving an arm out across the grain was structurally unsound so most "one piece" dolls will have items carved separately and then attached - like bows or protruding mouths.)
In any event, while a return to the older style carving has diminished the number of carvings working in this style, many still do (and many carve both styles).
Ranier Koruh, of the Reed Clan, has been carving old style dolls for several years. This year he is studying under master detail-carver, Stetson Honyumptewa. This Left-handed Hunter is his first highly-detailed, single piece carving. When he brought it into us late August, it was the culmination of a work he began in February. 10.5 inches high. $1275. (SANTA FE)
Andrew Saufkie Sr carved this Kwikwilyaqa or Mocking katsina. Here he is mocking some hapless villager called out for tending to a flower garden. 13 inches high. $875 (SANTA FE)
Except for the feathers, this was Mudhead pair carved from a single piece of wood by Brendan Kayquoptewa. 10.75 inches high. $1800 A Taawa, also by Brendan Kayqupotewa. 12 inches high. Only the flower staff was carved separately. SOLD(SANTA FE)
A stunningly detailed Crow Mother by Jon Cordero. 18.25 inches high. Made about 1990. From Munqapi Village, his mentor was Loren Phillips - another exceptional carver from the era of highly detailed and often one piece carvings. SOLD. A true one-piece carving. (SANTA FE)
A stunning one piece carving by Michael Dean Jenkins. An impressive 23 inches high this Patung is a great example of work from his peak. SOLD (SANTA FE)
Jenkins still carves, producing work that continues to garner awards. The three on this page, however, are distinctive for their exceptional size.
A phenomenal one piece (yes: one piece!) Eagle katsina by the incredibly talented, skilful and patient Hopi carver Michael Dean Jenkins. 28.5 inches high, with a wingspan of 34 inches. Below are photos of some of the many marvelous details. It currently rests in our Santa Fe shop. SOLD. There is no other Eagle katsina to compare. (Click on the thumbnails below for a larger image)
Another incredible one piece (yes: one piece!) carvings by Michael Dean Jenkins. This one, entitle "Warriors" portray Warrior Woman (He'e'e) and Warrior Mouse (Toson Homìitsì). Approximately 23 inches high and 20 inches across. SOLD. (SANTA FE)
Tsakurshmana or Yellow Corn Maiden as she appears during the Niman or Home Dance, carrying her rasp and gourd resonator. By Tim Talwepi. 12 inches high.$1275. (SANTA FE)
At 13 inches high this Soyok Wuhti is an impressive carving. Carved by award-winning carver Jimmie G Honanie in 1989, this came out of a local collection. $1600. (SANTA FE)
Angwusanomtaqa or Crow Mother by Brendan Kayquoptewa. 10.25 inches high. $1275 (TUCSON)
A Natukvika in his role as a Hapota or drummer. Carved by the late Brian Honyouti. 9 inches high. $1600.
An Anakchina, by Raynard Nasingoitewa, carved in 2001. 11 inches high. $875. (TUCSON)
A Saviki katsina carved by Wilmer Kaye. Saviki is also called Tsanu and is one of the mong or ‘chief’ katsinas and is regarded as the wuya of the Tsuyom or Snake Clan in some villages while in others he is one of the four guardians of the Palölökong or Water Serpent. 11.75 inches high including the base. $1200. (TUCSON)