KATSINA PAHLIK MANA / SHALAKO KACHINA JEUNE...

Lot 9
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15 000 - 18 000 EUR
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Result : 17 388 EUR

KATSINA PAHLIK MANA / SHALAKO KACHINA JEUNE...

KATSINA PAHLIK MANA / SHALAKO
KACHINA JEUNE FILLE PAPILLON
Hopi, Arizona
Years 1890
H. 33 cm
Provenance: Collection
of Mister A. F., Paris
This archaic Kachina figure, 33 cm high, is carved from the soft wood of a cottonwood root (American poplar). The tablet (partially restored) which surmounts the mask of the figure is composed of openwork terrace motifs. These "staircases of the sky" symbolize the clouds and the rain that fall from them.
The decoration at the level of the mouth and chin symbolizes the rainbow. On the back of the Kachina, the figure of a black hair symbolizes the heavy rain that the Kachina are supposed to bring to ensure the fertility of the soil.
The composition, proportions, and dynamic leg posture characterize the archaism of this sculpture, which is part of the corpus of the oldest known Kachina dolls (it probably dates from the 1890s).
The Kachina presented here is a figuration of the Young Butterfly Girl (Pahlik'Mana). This spirit appeared during the ritual dances of February.
The Young Butterfly Girl was present in the kiva (ceremonial underground chamber among the Hopi) where she was seen grinding corn, a sacred food that she then offered on the plaza during the dances. Pahlik Mana was supposed to bring rain, the promise of life and a bountiful harvest.
On the occasion of the appearance of this Kachina spirit, some members of the kiva had to abstain from eating salty and fatty foods and avoid contact with the opposite sex. According to the Hopi, fasting and asceticism allowed a high level of concentration to be achieved through self-purification of the mind. Both male and female dancers could embody Pahlik Mana (customs in this regard differed from one Hopi village to another).
The figuration and ritual function of Pahlik Mana are close to those of the Kachina Poli Mana and Salako (or Shalako) Mana, which explains why they are often confused in the literature on the Kachina.
For comparable examples of Kachina Jeune Fille à tabletta, one can refer to lot 20 of the Sotheby's New York sale of December 4, 1997 (world record price for a Kachina) or lot 387 of the Christie's New York sale of December 1, 1998.
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