A kachina (or katsina) is an immortal spirit being who controls the natural world for the Pueblo people of the American Southwest, while a kachina doll, like this one, is the miniature representation of the spirit. This figure is the Squash kachina, chief of the Pumpkin clan. Squash was an important crop for Native Americans, so the Squash kachina was an important spirit.
This kachina was carved of cottonwood and mounted on a round disc of wood edged in bark. The head is shaped like a squash, topped with a "stem" of leather strips and surrounded by a collar of white fur. (Prior to the Endangered Species Act, kachinas were decorated with bird feathers.) All the visible parts of the kachina's body are painted vivid green with darker green stripes. The figure is wearing a white loincloth painted with black and red symbols, bound with a black felt sash. It's hand signed in pencil on the bottom of the wood base "Squash Byl Mitchell Navajo."
This kachina stands 6 1/2 inches tall; the mostly round base is 2 1/2 inches in diameter. It's in excellent condition, with no damage or stains and no visible wear. It's the last of a small collection we purchased and perfect for collectors and those who love Native American/Southwest décor.
>>>The southwest oil painting on canvas shown--partially--in one of our photos is available here: