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Hopi Katsina Mudhead (Koyemsi) by Quanhoyeoma
Quanhoyeoma (1934-2009), also known by his English name, Ernest Moore, Jr., was a masterful colorist and katsina doll carver. He was born in Munkapi. Although he lived off of the Hopi reservation for many years he returned there in his 60s which is when he started carving. Prior to that he had been a graphic artist. In short order, his work became recognized and he won Best of Show at the Heard Museum Show in 2003. He subsequently was designated an Arizona Living Treasure in 2005.
We worked with Ernie for several years, placing his work on the front cover of the Smithsonian Catalog and Commercial News USA, a publication placed in US embassies and consulates throughout the world.
The doll is 3-dimensional on the front with a flat back. It stands 9″ H and is most appropriate for hanging. The symbols painted on the back of the doll represent his mother’s clan, the reed; and his father’s, which is the fire or Masau clan.
Mudheads (Koyemsi) are known as clowns however they also fulfill a role as social commentators to report on what is going on among the villagers. At dances, they can be drummers, interact with the audience and announce upcoming events.