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Acrylic on canvas. 15” x 15” with frame by Fil (Yoimasa) Kewanyama
This painting depicts the Talavai Katsina who usually appear in pairs. They represent the early morning when our Father Sun first makes his appearance; they usually appear only at the Bean Dance, but will make their appearance at other ceremonies if it is deemed necessary. Early in the morning as the rest of the katsinas are going around the village giving out gifts of bean sprouts, katsina dolls, lighting sticks and rattles, these Talavai Katsinas will climb to the tallest rooftop in the village and sing their beautiful song. They will also carry with them their spruce tree and their bells. I also painted the forehead of the sun as he is coming up over the horizon.
My lineage is descended from the Hopi Tribe of the Southwest. Majority of my work depicts and chronicles the Hopi way of life, what I feel and know is very important, and sacred to me. We Hopi are of the few Native American people that cling to our old way of life and its ceremonies. As a child growing up on Hopi, I too learned through our initiations the ceremonies that our ancestors passed on to us. The usage of symbols and what I call Katsina colors is crucial to my work. My influences come from what I know of Hopi history and what are my own interpretations of Hopi history fueled by own personal feelings.