29, Malekula Island fiber and spderweb headdress, Vanuatu, 41 3/8
From the same
region and culture is Lot 29, a very spectacular fiber and spiderweb
headdress with feathers that is 41 3/8 inches high. It has a
modest estimate of $7,000 to $10,000. It sold for only $6,250 including
the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.
33, headdress, fiber and sponge, Sulka, New Britain, 26 1/4 inches high
Lot 33 is a
quite fascinating fiber and sponge headdress from Sulka, New Britain.
It is 26 1/4 inches high. It has an estimate of
only $3,000 to $5,000. It
sold for $1,250.
Lot 2, Hopi
polychrome wood kachina doll, left; Lot 1, Hopi polychrome wood kachina
doll, probably depicting Lenya, 13 7/8 inches, right
Lot 2 is a
Hopi polychrome wood kachina doll that is 11 inches high.
It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $59,375.
4, Hopi polychrome wood kachina doll, attributed to Wilson
Tawaquaptewa, 10 3/4 inches high
Lot 1 is a large Hopi kachina doll that the catalogue
states is probably depicting Lenya. It is 13 7/8 inches high.
It has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. It sold for $37,500.
Lots 1 and 2
were once in the collection of
the Museum of the American
Indian, Heye Foundation and were sold via exhcange with Julius
Lot 4 is a
Hopi kachina doll that is attributed to Wilson Tawaquaptewa.
It is 10 3/4 inches high and has an estimate of $10,000 to
sold for $23,750.
13, large Hopi polychrome wood kachina doll depicting a snake priest,
19 3/4 inches high
The catalogue provides the following commentary about
"The kachina dollars made by Wilson Tawaquaptewa are
among the most intriguing examples of twentieth-century Native American
art. The uniqueness of the carvings themselves,
Tawaquaptewa's importance as a Hopi religious and political figure, and
the interrelationship between Tawaquaptewa's art and his
religious-political role make his kachina dolls specially interesting.
Tawquaptewas was born in 1873 into the Bear Clan of the Hopi
village of Oraibi, located on Third Mesa in northeastern Arizona.
At the time of Tawaquaptewa's birth, Oraibi was the largest
and most important of the Hopi villages and within Oraibi, the Bear
clan was its most signficant clan. In 1904, after
a youth and young adulthood about which little is known,
Tawaquaptewa assumed the most important religious and political
position in the village - that of kikmongwi or village chief.
He remained in this position until his death in 1960, with a
few interruptions related to political imprisonement or health
problems....In accepting the position of kikmongwi
Tawaquaptewa assumed centerstage in a major controversy. The
conflict involved a split between to Hopi groups, generally referred to
as the Friendlies (or Progessives) and the Hostiles (or
Traditonalists). Tawaquaptewa was the leader of the
Friendlies, and as the name implies,he and his followers supported
limited cooperation between the Hopi people and representatives ofthe
United States government.....Sometime well after the events of the 1906
split perhaps in the 1920s,Tawaquaptewa bean to carve and sell kachina
dolls. He became a familar figure to the ever increasing
number of tourists, sitting on his doorstep in Oraibi selling his dolls
for fifty cents or a dollar or two....Starting in the 1880s, an
increasing number of Hopi men had began to earn some United Staes
currency by selling dolls to tourists. Nonetheless,
theckacine dollas that Tawaquaptewa sold to the public were unique.
What distinguishes his dolls from all others of the same era
is that his carvings ostensibly representing specific Kachina, bear
little resemblance to the actual kachina figures that dance in the
villages during the Hopi six month ceremonial cycle....A major
exhibition of Mr. Tawaquaptewa's work was recently mounted at the
Birmingham Museum of Art."
Lot 13 is a
large Hopi polychrome wood kachina doll that depicts a snake priest.
It is 19 3/4 inches high and has an estinate of
$15,000 to $25,000. The catalogue notes that snake
priest kachinas "first appeared in the late 1800s, probably to satisfy
the desires of Euro-Americans who 'discovered' the Hopi Snake Dance
ceremony in the late 1870s....The ceremony...was an ancient petition to
the gods for rain, in which snakes, the supernatural messengers to the
divine, are danced while carried in the mouth. The cerrmony,
which occurs in August of each year, also commemorates and gives thanks
to Ti'yo, the ancestral snake youth and patron of the Snake Priesthood
order. In addition the ceremony bears both military
and memorial aspects, as the dancers are marked with the symbols of
Pookanghooya, the Little Wa rGod,and deceased members of the society
are represented on the Snake altar. Ritual footraces and the
snake dance occur on the last day of the elaborate ritual observance
ewhich originally spanned nine days. On the days of the
dance, lines of Atnelope and Snake Dance Priests face one another and
sing. At the conclusion of the song, the Antelope Priests
remain in position singing and shaking their rattles while the
Snake Dancers pair off. The rear man of the pair places his
left hand on the left shoulder of the one in front, and together they
dance forward to a covered bower. Here the forward man (the
Carrier) kneels and receives a snake, which he holds between his lips
as he rises and continues to dance The rear man (the Hugger)
follows behind the carrier with one or both hands draped over his
shoulers, and calms the rattlesnake fanning it with a feather wand
A third Snake Priest, a Gatherer, picks up the
snake after the Carrier releases it, returning it to the
ceremonial bower, or kisi."
6, large Hopi polychrome wood kachina doll, depicting Umtoinaga, 18 3/4
The lot sold for $104,500.
Lot 6 is a
large Hopi polychrome wood kachina doll depicting Umtoinaga.
It is 18 3/4 inches high and has an estimate of $8,000 to
sold for $40,625.
Tlingit polychrome wood shaman figure, 9 inches high
Lot 24 is an
interesting Tlingit polychrome wood shaman figure
that is leaning forward. It is 9 inches high and was
presented in 1929
by Dr. A. Eugene Austin to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye
Foundation, Smithsonian Instiutution and then deaccessioned via
exchange with Julius Carlebach in 1946. It has an estimate of
to $20,000. It
sold for $31,250.
34, a Sepik River Region bark and polychrome mange kundi headdress,
Papua New Guinea, 30 3/4 inches high
Lot 34 is a
lovely and very colorful mange kundi headdress from the Sepik River
region of Papua New Guinea. It is 30 3/4 inches high and has
an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.
It failed to sell.