Paul Sewemeanewa Powerful White Bear Hopi Kachina Doll
The White Bear depicted here is a Hon Kachin, but is more properly described as Kocha Honau.
``The Bear Kachina is of such great strength that it is felt he can cure the sick. He appears in the kachina return or Soyal of First Mesa as the watchman or side dancer for the Chakwaina.
He may come singly or in a group during the Palolokong Dance, and may appear in a number of colors such as Sakwa Honau (Blue Bear) or as illustrated - Kocha Honau (White Bear). Probably he is most familiar in the Mixed Kachina Dance, dancing outside the lines. His most distinctive feature is the presence of a bear footprint on either cheek.''
Barton Wright, Kachinas: a Hopi Artist's Documentary (114)
Paul Sewemenaewa hails from Third Mesa - the village of Hotevilla. He is a young carver at only 34 years old, but has been carving since he was only 7.
Born in Ganado, Arizona - he is of the Roadrunner and Greasewood clans of Hopi.
He credits his uncles with teaching him the kachina carving art. His favorite designs include animals, morning kachinas, and maiden kachinas.
``This is a talent that I have been fortunate to be taught by my uncles when I was very young. Doll carving was a way to support myself with things that I wanted when I was a child all the way to my adult life. This has always been a means of supporting my family and myself.
I enjoy carving because every piece I create has a little piece of myself in it. Each piece of cottonwood has a specific art form in it. When I start carving the kachina, working within the wood, it will come right out and show itself, but if I try to go against what is within the wood, it takes longer and things don't usually work out the way you want.
"I enjoy teaching my carving talent to people who are serious about learning and who are willing to make something out of being able to learn. My carvings mean a lot to me. I don't make them just to make them. I always think about how my carvings are and where they live and how they are being taken care of.
I am very grateful to my uncles Bill & Willard Sewemaenewa for always pushing and encouraging me to learn this art.''
- taken from Paul's own autobiographical statement.'
Item No.: KD.0067
Artist: Paul Sewemenaewa
Size: 10 1/2 in H