Eugene Dallas

Chiefs Gathering

14 1/2" H with 3/4" base


The Aholi & Eototo figures are rarely carved because of their sacred natures. However, with the demand by collectors increasing, more and more contemporary and progressive artists are "pushing the envelope," by responding to that demand with new and unique works of art.

As highly spiritual figures, the Eototo and Aholi represent the kachina chiefs, with the Aholi representing the lieutenant. Dawa, or the Sunface kachina, also appears presiding over them.

The Eototo represents the Village Chief, and is called "father" as the chief of all kachinas. He appears throughout the year and always leads - placing cornmeal on the ground in the shape of a raincloud. The Aholi follows and places the end of his stick in the cloud, marking the spot for rain to come.

Occassionally these two are carved seperately but here they are carved together on this sculpture. True to form, the Eototo carries his bag of cornmeal, while Aholi holds his staff.

The Sun Kachina (Dawa) is a representation of the spirit of the Sun. He is very seldom seen in public because the performance of the rituals is sacred and secret...reserved only for specific clans or high priesthood leaders. Although very popular among the carvers, he seldom appears in the Kachina dances. The Sun Kachina radiates rays down to the Earth giving it warmth and life.

The mask of the Sun Kachina is a representation of the round face of the Sun. The lower half of the face is blue with rectangular eyes, a triangle mouth and vertical bars on each cheek. The top half of the mask is painted half yellow and half red. Carved red horsehair hangs from his forehead and drapes the mask.

According to Barton Wright, "the Sun Kachina is ... on occasion called the Sun Shield Kachina. He appears in a role very similar to that of the Nakiachop or Talavai, standing to the side with a spruce tree in his left hand and a bell in his right. Also, he may appear in a Mixed Dance with the flute in his left hand that is associated with him in many myths. He is not often personated."

- Kachinas: a Hopi Artist's Documentary (124)

Even the Ha-hai-i Wuhti, or Grandmother kachina, appears in traditional doll form, on the back of the piece. All of these figures come together to round out some of the most respected leaders and central figures in Hopi ceremony.

Eugene began carving kachinas full-time as an adult. He has developed a distinctive style that features rich colors and shading on his figures.

His attention to detail is shown not only in his exquisite carving, but also in the costume and accouterments of the kachina. He has said that the Kachinas reflect his Hopi heritage in two ways; first from the way that they appear and also with their associated meanings.

Eugene feels that the Hopi people are an intrinsically artistic culture. He typically signs his kachinas on the bottom with crossed feathered arrows. Eugene has a large extended family of carvers, including his brothers Leon and Reginald Dallas.

 

Gallery Price: $900.00

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