by forrest fenn
These vignettes from Forrest’s collection are only to share. To see 294 additional pieces please visit
I hope these kachina dolls don’t take this personally, but I like old things, especially if they are powerful, and gracefully show their age. These three do. More than a hundred years ago the Hopi Indians in Arizona carved them from roots of a cottonwood tree. Most kachinas have multiple duties, but some stand out more than others. Faith is a big part of the colorful Kachina Culture.
This Butterfly Maiden has faded over time, but has kept her Mona Lisa twinkle. At least for me she has. Nothing about her has changed in the 50 years since she came to live with me. She pollinates dreams and makes them come true. Look her up if you don’t believe it. That’s why she’s my all-time favorite.
Kachinas are made to teach Hopi children how to dress for the dances, and the Sao Hemis is one of the most elaborate. Although customs change over the generations some things don’t. Sao Hemis always wears a kilt, a tablita, and their bodies are painted with black corn smut.
The Three Horn kachina is a warrior who likes to sing excitedly when he dances. He’s one of the guards and, when needed, can rush into action with great swiftness. He brings rain to the ground that insures a good harvest. And a good harvest can mean the children will be healthy, the crops will grow, and the water will be potable.
Two books on archaeology say that the Kachina Culture didn’t exist in pre-historic times, but we found those accounts to be fraught with misdirection.
I found two helmet style masks at San Lazaro Pueblo, and paid to have them excavated by professional archaeologists. Radiocarbon (C-14) and archaeomagnetic dates show that the masks were used between 1450 and 1520. The pueblo was prehistoric until 1540 when a Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado entered the Southwestern landscape. The official archaeological record is being revised to reflect my discovery. f