Antique Pueblo Wupamo (“Long Billed Guardianj”) Katsina Mask, circa 1940

Antique Pueblo Wupamo (“Long Billed Guardianj”) Katsina Mask, circa 1940

$2,875.00

Antique Pueblo Wupamo (“Long Billed Guardianj”) Katsina Mask, likely Hopi, circa 1940, a carved and painted cottonwood katsina mask with carved wooden long bill and broad ears held by leather thongs, and simple yet dramatic paint.

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SKU: 274-12 V00
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Availability: In stock

Antique Pueblo Wupamo (“Long Billed Guardianj”) Katsina Mask, circa 1940, a carved and painted cottonwood katsina mask with carved wooden long bill and broad ears held by leather thongs, and simple yet dramatic paint.

The mask remains in very good condition. The wood is sound with scuffs and rubs around the edges but no structural issues. The paint is wonderfully weathered and mellowed. The leather thongs have good age, but presumably most are likely old replacements.

Measures: 11 in High x 16-1/4 in Wide x 10-3/4 in Deep

Katsina rituals are held by the Hopi, Zuni, Hopi-Tewa, and certain Keresan tribes, as well as most Pueblo tribes in New Mexico. The Wupamo Katsina appears on all three mesas in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado; this one is thought to be Hopi from northeastern Arizona.

The Wupamo is both a chief and a guard, one of the so-called “furious katsina.” He appears as a guard during the Powamu Ceremony (the Bean Planting Festival observed in late January or early February and lasting eight days). He carries a yucca whip and patrols the procession, often charging in faux attacks, to keep the onlookers clear of the route or urging the laggard clowns onward. On the First Mesa they are often restrained by the Koyemsi (“Mudhead Katsina”) by ropes tied around their waists. They may serve a similar role at secret ceremonies in the kivas. They assist at communal tasks like the cleaning of the springs by urging the men to stay at their tasks.

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