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Basket Plaque with Kachina Mask

Culture Hopi
Title Basket Plaque with Kachina Mask
Date Early–mid 20th century
Medium Wicker and reed
Dimensions Object: 13 1/4 × 13 1/2 in. (33.7 × 34.3 cm)
Overall: 13 1/4 x 13 1/2 in. (33.7 x 34.3 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Henry R. Hope, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 62.268

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About this Work

Among the Hopi of the American southwest,  the creation and use of basketry is a tradition that long pre-dates any contact with Europeans. A Kachina mask is depicted on this basketry plaque. Kachinas are spirits able to bring prosperity to communities. Among the Hopi,  men create small dolls, each one depicting one of the hundreds of Kachina, that are given to young children as a means of teaching and rewarding good behavior. Beginning in the 1930s,  these dolls were also sold to individuals outside of the community, with many artists creating the figures purely for sale.  

This plaque, with its Kachina subject, was almost certainly made for sale to those outside of the Hopi community.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Basket Plaque with Kachina Mask | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.