Brian Laban


19" total height

"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 himself.

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 brother-in-law.

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 daily.

The Award's of Brian Laban:

1992 - Gallup Ceremonial - "2nd Place".

1993 - Gallup Ceremonial - "Best In Division".

1993 - Northern AZ Museum - "1st Place".

1993 - Hopi Guild - "Best in Show"

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.

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