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Masked Figure

1980 Leonard Willeto Born: 1955 Died: 1984 housepaint on carved pine with chicken feathers 11 1/2 x 5 x 3 3/4 in. (29.2 x 12.7 x 9.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1997.124.99 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 26B


Luce Center Label

These two Indian figures are both decorated with chicken feathers and dressed in costumes and elaborate headdresses so that they resemble kachina dolls (Chuck and Jan Rosenak, The People Speak: Navajo Folk Art, 1994). Kachina dolls represent sacred ancestral spirits who live among the Pueblo people for part of each year to help them with their growing and harvest seasons. Figures like these were worshiped as idols or given to children to teach them about their ancestors.

Keywords

Dress - costume - mask

Dress - ethnic - Indian dress

Ethnic - Indian - Navajo

Figure - full length

sculpture

folk art

animal parts - feather

paint - acrylic

wood - pine