29 January, 2010

Tatanka Kachina


One place that I visited years ago that captured my heart is Santa fe, New Mexico. Even though I was just a young girl my memories of the red sand that covers the plains, the smell of sage in the desert wind, the adobe homes that stand strong and proud on the cliff-tops, and the colorful people of the plains make me feel at home!

I have never done Indian-inspired art before, but after many conversations with my father about his interest in Kachina dolls, and the Indian culture, I decided to paint him a Kachina doll as a gift...I have named him Tatanka Kachina (Buffalo Kachina). Apparently, Buffalo Kachina dolls are the most powerful of all the Kachinas. He is believed to be a spiritual protector and to have the ability to kill evil thoughts. He is usually seen wearing a buffalo fur hood with horns, that reveals a man’s face. (Mine clearly does not, just because he is a very ancient Buffalo Kachina...) The Buffalo Kachina also typically carries a rattle when he is dancing and a spear and shield when he is hunting or at war.

I know this is much different than the usual style of paintings that I do, but I had fun with it, and it has sparked my interest in looking further into the beautiful Indian culture that- even though it be seem ancient- still feels very much alive!


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