Archive for category Figurines & Statuary
The animal Kachinas are the advisors, doctors and assistants of the Hopi. It is through the assistance of the animals that the Hopi have overcome monsters and cured strange diseases. In fact, the greatest doctor of them all is the Badger for it is he who knows all of the roots and herbs and how to administer them. The Bear shares in this ability. Other animals are warriors and know the ways of danger and can aid the men in becoming like them.
All animals, however, share one attribute which is that they can remove their skins at will and hang them up like clothes. When they do they appear exactly as men, sitting about in their kivas. smoking and discussing serious matters. They are the Hopi’s closest neighbors and are always willing to assist if approached in a proper manner and asked for help. When prayer feathers and meal are not given they often withdraw until proper behavior is forthcoming.
The Animal Kachinas thus represent the relationship present between the Hopi and the kacbina spirits which some may compare to a true friendship on the human level. It involves an exchange of special favors in their interaction, accompanied by an exchange of respectful gestures.
KWEO KACHINA Wolf Kachina
The Wolf Kachina appears as a side dancer who accompanies the herbivorous animals such as the Deer Kachina and the Mountain Sheep Kachina in the Soyohim Dances. He often clasps a stick in his hands which represents the bushes and trees that he hides behind as he stalks his prey. At the end of one of these dances the Hopi cast meal upon him and offer prayer feathers that they might also secure game using his prowess as a hunter. Dolls of this kachina arc, in contemporary times, elaborated with great teeth, lolling tongues and real fur that did not adorn the older dolls. There is almost always a Wolf Kachina on the shelf for purchase.
WAKAS KACHINA Cow Kachina
The Cow or Wakas Kachina is a comparatively late kachina. It was reputedly conceived and introduced by a Harm man around the turn of the century. The kachina enjoyed a long run of popularity right after its introduction and then again in recent years. The name is derived from the Spanish word vacas for cows. The kachina is danced to bring an increase in cattle.
MOSAIRU KACHINA Buffalo Kachina
The Buffalo Kachina is not the same figure as that seen in the social dance (see White Buffalo, p. 82) that has been carved in recent years. It is a kachina and is masked. Formerly these were made with a green face as well as one in black but in recent years the former has all but disappeared. It appears in the Plaza Dance usually with the mixed kachinas.
HON KACHINA Bear Kachma
There are a number of Bear Kachinas. Some are distinguished only by color such as the Blue, White, Yellow or Black Bear Kachinas. There are others such as Ursisimu, who have become extinct, and Ketowa Bisena, who is the personage that belongs to the Bear Clan at Tewa. There are Bears fancifully dressed and Bears that are not. All Bear Kachinas are believed to be very powerful and capable of curing bad illnesses. They are also great warriors. Bear Kachinas appear most often in the Soyohim or Mixed Dances of springtime or occasionally as side dancers for the Chakwaina Kachinas.
CH6P-SOWI-ING KACHINA Antelope-Deer Kachma
This kachina points up the similarity of the Deer and Antelope Kachinas because by exchanging the antelope horns for deer antlers the doll would become a Deer Kachina. Both Antelope and Deer may wear shirts, usually in cold weather, and either may have a white or blue face. Formerly the attributes of each were more rigidly separated than today.
CHOP KACHINA Antelope Kachina
The Antelope Kachina appears in the Plaza Dances either as a group in the Line Dance or as an individual in the Mixed Dance. He, as well as all other herbivorous animals, makes the rains come and the grass grow. He usually dances with a cane held in both hands and accompanied by the Wolf Kachina as a side dancer.
PONG KACHINA Mountain Sheep Kachina
The Mountain Sheep Kachina appears in Line Dances or as an occasional figure in the Mixed Dance. It dances holding a cane in both hands to represent the forelegs as it bends over and moves through the steps. The kachina has power over the rain as do the other herbivorous animals and is able to cure spasms as well.
KAWAI-I KACHINA Horse Kachina
The Horse Kachina derives its name from the Spanish word for horse, caballo. The kachina is of recent introduction as the Hopi did not adopt the horse until quite late, preferring the burro as a beast of burden, and their own two feet if speed was desired. Early travelers through Hopi country had difficulty with Hopi guides on foot setting a pace that soon exhausted their horses. The kachina is usually seen in Mixed Dances.
HONAN KACHINA Badger Kachina
The Hopi have two distinct forms of the Badger Kachina. This form is characteristic of Second Mesa and is a Chief Kachina who appears during the Powamu and the Pachavu ceremonies. It is a curing kachina. The costume and gear are not a fancier version of the other kachina but are instead of a form which probably arrived at a different time. There is some confusion on Third Mesa with the Sio Hemis Hu. However, that kachina does not have Badger tracks on its cheeks.
HONAN KACHINA Badger Kachina
This doll, characteristic of the smaller and more rapidly manufactured effigies, is also a Honan or Badger Kachina. It is more often seen during the Mixed Dances on Third Mesa or the Water Serpent Ceremony on First Mesa than during the Powamu. It bears a superficial resemblance to the Squirrel Kachina.
Annalee Davis Thorndike is an important New Hampshire businesswoman and entrepreneur who built a home craft business in Meredith into a national company. Born in Concord, NH, in 1915, Annalee Davis Thorndike pursued her interest in art by making dolls. Her first creations were marionettes, then she began making cloth dolls. Children of the era typically played with cloth dolls with changeable clothes. Thorndike was not making toys, however. From the beginning, her dolls were in set positions, with the clothes sewed onto the doll. These were dolls for display, each with a story to tell. She began selling the dolls through the New Hampshire League of Arts and Crafts, which later would become the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. As the Great Depression progressed, she created new dolls with varied materials. During the 1930s Annalee began making her popular skier dolls.
In 1941 Annalee married Charles “Chip” Thorndike, the son of a Boston physician. Chip had become a chicken farmer in Meredith. Chip and Annalee worked on the farm through the 1940s and 1950s, until poultry farming was no longer profitable in New Hampshire. Needing another way to make a living, Annalee returned to making dolls. She started in the kitchen of her Meredith farmhouse, helped by local women. Soon every corner of the house was taken over with doll parts. Thorndike not only employed several women in her home, she took work out to be completed in other women’s homes. Her husband Chip created clever wooden components for the dolls, including skis, ski poles, and little boats. It was Chip who designed the wire frame that held the dolls in position. The doll business was incorporated in 1955 as Annalee Mobilitee Dolls.
Annalee’s dolls from the 1950s appeared in promotions in Manchester and Boston store windows. The State of New Hampshire hired Annalee to create dozens of dolls to help promote tourism. Annalee dolls that were skiing, fishing, and hunting highlighted New Hampshire attractions at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass., and at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
The success of the promotional programs launched the popularity of Annalee Dolls. By 1960, the dolls were being sold to retail outlets in forty states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company was by then a major Lakes Region business. In 1964, Thorndike moved the operation out of her house and into a “factory in the woods.” It has expanded several times since then.
The individual Annalee dolls document hairstyles and dress of the times, creating a lasting statement about life in New Hampshire since World War II. The exhibition reflected Thorndike’s artistic talent, hard work, and shrewd business sense. The display chronicled her experiences building a small home-based craft industry into a manufacturer of national importance, in the process telling a remarkable Yankee success story of perseverance and creativity.
In 1876, Franz Goebel started a porcelain firm near the town of Oeslauby, Germany. After several years of porcelain production in the factory, Franz’s son, William expanded the Goebel product line and changed the company name to W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik. Convinced that the American market would assist sales, William developed a U.S. product line and sent his 16-year-old son, Max Louis, to America. By 1911, Max Louis Goebel returned to German to move the factory into the 20th century.
In the 1930s, Franz Goebel thought that in a world of political turmoil, customers would respond to a product that depicted the gentle innocence of childhood. The artwork of a Franciscan Sister and gifted artists trained at the Munich Academy, Maria Innocentia Hummel, was introduced to Mr. Goebel. The nun made drawings of country children that were printed as art cards which gained popularity.
Based on the artwork of Sister Hummel, Goebel wanted to produce a line of figurines. The artist was contacted at the Convent of Siessen and was shown clay models based on her drawings. Sister Hummel and the Convent of Siessen granted sole rights to Goebel to create ceramic figures based on her original artwork. Sister Hummel personally approved the sculpting and painting of each porcelain piece. It was determined that earthenware, pioneered by Goebel in the 1920s, was the proper medium for the new line.
About Sister Hummel Maria Innocentia Hummel was born in Bavaria in 1909. In 1927, she enrolled in Munich’s famed Academy of Applied Arts and befriended two Franciscan Sisters from a teaching order that emphasized the arts. She decided to enter the Convent of Siessen upon graduation from art school in 1931, and by 1934, the young nun took the name Maria Innocentia replacing the name Bertha.
The members of the convent encouraged the Sister to pursue her artwork. Soon, small German publishers began printing her artwork in the form of postcards. These charming cards came to the attention of Franz Goebel, the head of the Goebel porcelain company.
The artist worked personally with Goebel’s Master sculptors and painters to create the figurines. First introduced in 1935, the Hummel figurines were an immediate success. The relationship between Hummel and Goebel continued amicably until Sister Hummel’s untimely death at 37 in 1946. Goebel carried on her artistic legacy with new Hummel pieces.
Hummel signature and markings To determine if a figurine, plate, or bell is a genuine Hummel piece, there are definitive marks of identification that should be evident. The mark of Sister M. I. Hummel is incised on every piece. Sister Hummel requested that her personal stamp of approval would appear on every piece and under the direction of the members of the convent, approvals were made with care. All Hummels have a mold number which is a number that is incised on the bottom of each M. I. Hummel figurine at the factory. Another definitive identifier is the Goebel stamp on the underside of the figurine which is an official Goebel trademark. While the trademark has changed over the years, every authentic M. I. Hummel figurine will have a Goebel stamp on its underside. When any change in the backstamp had occurred, it has been a source of great excitement for M. I. Hummel collectors.
Values and specific figurines Hummel figurines are highly sought after by collectors with several models valued at hundreds, even thousands, of dollars per piece. Pieces such as “For Father”, “Globe Trotter”, “Little Goat Herder”, and “Going to Grandmas” are good examples of valuable collectibles. As with all collectibles, condition and rarity will affect value, but don’t let anyone tell you that your Hummel figurine is not collectible or not valuable. Remember, someone who is interested in buying your Hummels for their collection or for resale in their store will most likely not provide an accurate appraised value. Why? They don’t want to pay top dollar for a valuable Hummel!