Ronald Honyouti

Parrot Kachina

8" H with 2 1/2" base

The Parrot Kachina, or Kyash, as he is called, has an obscure history whose purpose seems to be one of bringing summer growth plus the increase of parrots. -Kachinas: a Hopi Artist's Documenary (193)

Interestingly, Wright continues "there is apparently a complete break in the history of the Parrot Kachina. His appearance on First Mesa before the turn of the century is quite different from his appearance eighty years later on Second Mesa.

Between these two personations no dolls were made that were recognizable as the Parrot Kachina, nor were any dances given as the paraphernalia was not available. In 1965 a Parrot Dance was given as a regular dance for the first time in several generations. Formerly it had been given in the Water Serpent Ceremony on First Mesa.

Why the Hopi tradition includes parrots is a matter of much speculation - however, many believe that according to their oral history, the Hopi migrated from South America many centuries ago. One legend tells of their arrival in the Fourth World after crossing the "green deep." Upon reaching the shoreline, these majestic birds flew out to welcome them to their new home.

Their use in modern tradition could be a remnant of an earlier era and custom. The existence of evidence of some paraphernelia, as it has been described, suggests that the Hopi did maintain open trade in the complex network of the Anasazi which reached deep in the Meso America.

This fantastic piece is the creation of Ronald Honyouti. Ronald has done an amazing job, as always, with his oil paints - bringing the subtle and unique features of the cottonwood to life.

Ronald's choice of hues and tones contribute to the life-like realism of the piece. As a master-carver, Ronald never misses a single detail. He pays such meticulous attention that even the creases in the knuckles are accounted for, along with fingernails, frays in the sash, and folds in the leather moccasins.

Ronald Honyouti is a world renowned artist who has lived most of his life on the Hopi reservation. He was born on May 20, 1955 at nearby Keams Canyon hospital. Ron began carving at the age of 12, shortly after becoming initiated to the Kachina society.

Ronald attended the local elementary schools until graduating from the eighth grade. Like all other young adults his age, he had no choice but to leave the reservation to attend high school. After graduating from high school, Ron attended vocational training to be a motorcycle mechanic. After completing his training Ronald returned home to the village of Bacavi where he continued his carvings and began experimenting with different types of paints to bring out the essence of each piece of wood.

His father, Clyde, and older brother Brian, gave him the aspiration to begin carving. The one piece concept began when Clyde, who was a sheepherder, would take a small piece of cottonwood and a simple knife with him in the morning as he left for the day. During the day while the sheep ate and rested, Clyde would begin his kachina carvings and since he did not have access to any other materials he began to carve the feathers, rattle's, drums, etc. as a part of the whole piece. This began the practice of the one piece kachina carvings made by Ronald and his brothers.

Brian, Ronald's oldest brother, had already been carving one piece kachinas dolls and using oil paints as opposed to acrylic paints. So naturally this concept was shared with Ron who then began using oil paints. Oil paints brought out the texture, grain and beauty of each piece of wood they were working with. Also the paints made the carvings look natural and realistic versus acrylic paints that seemed very bright, bold and unnatural.

Ronald has won numerous awards for his carvings. Several "Best of division", "Best of Class", and "First Place" awards, from shows such as the infamous "Santa Fe Indian Market" held once a year in Santa Fe New Mexico in August and the Indian Ceremonials held in Gallup, New Mexico, and the annual Hopi Show at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.

Gallery Price: $4,500.00


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