"The fearsome Nataska
always come as a pair. They accompany the Soyoko on their collection
trip and usually stand directly behind the member of the crew
who is bargaining with the relatives of the children.
"They make horrible noises,
dragging their saws [and knives, or whatever it may be] along
the side of the house or on the ground. All the while, they keep
up a steady stamping that makes the turtle-shell rattles on their
legs sound ominously.
"They are supposed to
be able to eat a child whole; from the very earliest age, the
child has heard stories of these monsters - how they would descend
on children playing near the village and haul them away to cook
and eat. So it is no wonder that the children are petrified at
their actual appearance!
"Usually only dark colored
clothes are put on this kachina pair, who should have horns.
The feather fan is made of turkey feathers which are placed close
together to form a large mass behind the head that makes the
figures appear much taller and broader."
- Barton Wright, Kachinas: a Hopi Artists
Oliver Tsinnie was born to
Dorothea Fritz and Orville Tsinnie in December, 1964. He was
born into the Hopi fire clan (also known as Masa) on his mothers
side and his father was Navajo. He has been carving since 1992
and credits his mother for convincing him to give carving a try.
He was completely self-taught. He remembers watching his Grandfather
and his uncles carving when he was very young. At that time he
says, they pieced the Kachinas together with nails and put fabric,fur
and leather on them for clothes and shoes. Oliver is married
to Marcella and they have 10 children between them.
Oliver carves one piece Kachinas
and has become a very fine carver. He uses quite a bit of motion
and his fine detail is excllent. His favorite Kachinas to carve
are the Ogre and the Deer.
Oliver has taken awards at
the Museum of Northern Arizona and Santa Fe at Indian Market.
He also won the SWAIA challenge award in 2000.