"The Long-haired Kachina
is one of the most pervasive of all kachinas. It is danced from
the Rio Grande to the Hopi Mesas in almost the same form. Among
the Hopis there are many varieties but the regular Angak'china
is the one portrayed here.
"They appear in a group
and sing a very melodious song which may be one of the reasons
that they are such favorites. They are often used for the Niman
Kachina on First Mesa coming with the Kocha Mana. In fact they
have danced in late August on First Mesa in direct contradiction
to the feeling that only Masau'u can be danced out of season.
Probably this was due to the presence of the Tewa people who
do not have a closed kachina season.
"Their purpose is to
bring rain, and it is said that they seldom dance without the
appearance of a soft gentle rain to help the crops grow."
- Barton Wright, Kachinas: a Hopi
Artists Documentary (172)
In 1986, at the age of 19,
Brian Laban had broken his ankle while working in the construction
field. Brian had turned this unfortunate incident, into a positive
experience. His Aunt, Muriel Navasie, and her husband at the
time, Cecil Calnimptewa, taught Brian the Art, which they are
so famous for, traditional Hopi Kachina carving.
Learning from these two masters,
Brian developed his great talent, and the elegant style in which
he creates his pieces.
Brian's kachinas reflect the
attention to detail that Muriel was known for. Brian also stresses
the importance of body proportions, definition of muscles and
hands, a fine art which Brian learned from Cecil Calnimptewa
Brian Laban is known by his
admirers and by kachina experts for his skill. He is believed
to have exceeded the fine craftsmanship of even his talented
It has been said that: "Brian
Laban and Cecil are the only two kachina carvers who seem to
understand the human anatomy," although I would certainly
have to add Jon Cordero and a handful of others to that list.
Brian has always been a top
competitor in the most prestigious art shows, where he has competed
with other elite kachina carvers such as Loren Phillips, Lowell
Talashoma, Alfred Lomahquahu, Kevin Pochoema, Stetson Honyumptewa,
Loren Honyouti, Brian Honyouti, Marlin Pinto, and even the Uncle
which had taught him the craft, Cecil Calnimptewa.
Brian has 2 daughters and
a son. He has a ranch where he raises cattle and he is also a
Taekwando Master, and he teaches students on the reservation
The Award's of Brian Laban:
1992 - Gallup Ceremonial -
1993 - Gallup Ceremonial -
"Best In Division".
1993 - Northern AZ Museum
- "1st Place".
1993 - Hopi Guild - "Best
1994 - Northern Arizona Museum-
1st Place, "Best in Category".
*Fellow Competitor's: Lowell
Talashoema, Loren Phillips Alfred Lomahquahu, and Kevin Pochoema.
1997 - Gallup Ceremonial -
"Best in Class"
*Fellow Competitors: Stetson
Honyumptewa, Loren Honyouti, Brian Honyouti, Marlin Pinto, Kevin
Pochoema, Alfred Lomahquahu, and Cecil Calnimptewa.