The Angwusnasomtaka, or Crow
Mother, as she is called, "is a figure of great dignity.
She appears on all three mesas, usually in connection with the
initiation of the children, although she also appears on other
At the initiation rites she
descends into the kiva bearing a large number of yucca blades
bound together at the base. She takes a position at one corner
of the large sand painting on the floor of the kiva, with one
of her "sons" on either side of her.
As the candidate is brought
to the sand painting she hands a whip to one of the Hu' Kachinas
who gives the child four healthy strokes with the yucca blade.
When the yucca becomes worn it is handed back to the Crow Mother
who then supplies a new one.
When the initiatory whipping
is over, she raises her skirts and receives the same treatment
accorded the children. They are given prayer feathers and meal
and leave the kiva."
- Barton Wright, Kachinas: a Hopi
Artist's Documentary (66)
Considered by some to be the
pioneer of modern kachina carving, Alvin Navasie has certainly
left his mark on an ancient Hopi tradition. Alvin, who is from
Polacca on First Mesa on the Hopi reservation, has done an excellent
job carving this Kachina. Alvin was taught Hopi carving by his
brother- in-law, Cecil Calnimptewa, who frequently shares his
time with both Alvin and his brother Wally Navasie.
Alvin is one of 25 carvers
featured in Theda Bassman's book, "Hopi Kachina Dolls and
Their Carvers" on pages 104-107. Alvin is 37 years old and
has been carving for over 20 years. The Kachina is signed on
the bottom of the base: "Alvin Navasie, Sr."