"The awesome figure of
the Monster Woman [Soyok Wuhti] appears during the Powamu ceremony
as one of the many Soyoko who threaten the lives of the children.
Dressed all in black, with long stragling hair, staring eyes
and a wide-fanged mouth, she carries a blood smeared knife and
a long jangling crook - a truely fearsome creature to the children.
When she speaks, it is in
a wailing falsetto or with a long dismal hoot of 'Soyoko'-u-u-u,'
from which her name is derived. She may reach for the children
with the long crook and threaten to put them in the basket on
her back, or to cut off their heads with the large knife that
she carries in her hand utterly terrifying her young audience.
On some mesas she may be the
ogre that threatens a small child who has been naughty and bargains
with a relative to ransom the child, but on others she is not.
In some villages she leads the procession of the ogres; in others
she remains at the side, content to make threatening gestures."
- Barton Wright, Kachinas: a Hopi Artist's
Born June 16, 1968 to the
village of Moenkopi, Arizona, Jon is the son of a Hopi mother,
and a Cochiti father who died when Jon was just a baby.
Although Jon was raised on
the Hopi Reservation, he would always spend a month each summer
with his Cochiti grandmother, the famed matriarch of storytellers,
Helen Cordero. His grandmother tried to teach him to make storytellers,
but it just wasn't his calling.
Instead, when he was in high
school, he learned to carve Kachina dolls from his uncles, Hopi
master carvers Loren Phillips and Tom Holmes. And Loren was not
only his teacher but also continued to encourage Jon in his carving
through the years.
Like the traditional Hopi
Jon continually strives to be, he works very hard all the time
tending to his cattle and his horse as well as planting and tending
his crops of corn, beans, melons and squash. And he participates
in the dances, in respect to the Kachinas.
Yet Jon always finds time
to do what he likes best, and that is to carve. Instead of carving
alone, Jon prefers the company of other carvers. His favorite
carving buddy has always been his cousin and clan brother Leonard
Selestewa, who was also always a great source of encouragement
for Jon. Among the many books on Hopi Kachinas that mention Jon
and his work is Theda Bassman's Hopi Kachina Dolls and their
Jon says he is serious about
his carving and wants to carve for the rest of his life. Whenever
he finishes a carving he hopes it will find a good home, and
whoever buys it will admire it for the rest of their lives. Jon
has become well-known for his beautiful, realistic Kachina doll
carvings and his work has become highly sought after.