All about Kachina Carving

Kachina Carving

I’ve been carving for about 25 years. But I enjoy carving Through carving, for me it expresses life. I’m expressing life and colors coming from different directions. In the morning, this is one of that would really makes me happy. These things in nature that they’ll inspire you When I pick up my carvings, it’ll remind me of things that I’ve seen that morning. Carving became more of my life view now. When I’m drawing, you know, you could hear the kachina singing. Drawing really release me from a day of carving. I’m glad there is an interest still in it that we can still express ourselves through our carvings. I’m from the village of Kykotsmovi. I’m Tobacco and Rabbit clan. I’m a traditional carver. I do contemporary work, and I also carve utilitarian tools. The carvings that I do right now, they are all about bringing what’s inside of the wood out. So it’s kind of a subtractive process where you just look at the wood, and I usually see something in there and you just take away everything until what I see. One of the more, I guess… pieces that are like really out there. This is contemporary work. Everything that I do has a story behind it. There’s gourds, the beans, the melons.

We all have something to teach us And on the flipside is learning from nature like learning from just being out in the meadows or being out in the forest and seeing the butterflies. The butterflies to us are a symbol of strength and they represent changed. These kachina dolls are spirits in our figures. That’s what they teach us. It’s like everything in the earth and outside of the earth, and then the universe, it has a life. Now you’re able to look at the world around you with bigger eyes You can take more things in and assimilate it into yourself and by being a person who understands that you pass that on to the people who are around you. These carvings teach you is that you are part of the universe. My name is Philbert Honanie. I’m from the village Hotevilla, and I’m a traditional carver.

The history of kachina for me was through my own ancestral veins. Kachina means life, the life bringers. Those are things that are given to you for being more stronger to have a good life, to be a better person. These cradle dolls are the flat dolls and there are the ones that the children would get first during the ceremonies and as they get older and older, they will get bigger and bigger elaborate dolls like this one. This is a giving gift from the creator. It is not my art. That was given to us as Hopis. So I collected my work from the San Juan River. They said go to the rivers. Go to where the moon is and then you’ll find it. Always pray, always put down a gift before you pick and when the tree is down, then we will give you that gift and say you have a good life. We’re going to take some of you and we’re going to make a beautiful life on you. Well, life changes. Kachi again, it changes, like the rivers. Everything, life always moves on.


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