Authentic & Impressive Hopi Knife-Wing Dancer Figure by Polyestewa
I was lucky enough to have befriended Polyestewa,an elder Hopi Katschina ( often pronounced Kachinas ) wood carver in my store in Taos,New Mexico.
I have learned much from him concerning the mystery of these often described 'Hopi Dolls' as well as about Native American Art in general.
To understand the art one should try understand the people who have created the art itself.By his generosity of spirit and his innate abilities Polyestewa has gifted me a whole different way of looking at Native American Art.
The Knife Wing is not a Kachina but rather a half man,half eagle Zuni ( with whom I understand there is an artistic cross over with the Hopi ) spirit or God.It is thought he was the God of War for the Zunis.The Knife Wing is central to scores of Folklore tales and is an iconic symbol.
Poly ( as he likes being called ) is in his mid-seventies if he's a day and is strong and vital.He collects the cotton wood roots (this is the traditional way to make these as well as all Katchina figures.When one handles a Kachina for the first time it should feel surprisingly light as Cotton Wood is almost as light as Balsa Wood ).The pigments are all natural and the spirit of his creations are all in keeping with authentic traditions