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Oliver Tsinnie: Soyok Wuhti

16" total height

"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 Documentary (74)

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 mother’s 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.

Special Collections

Price: $3,600.00
(plus sh/han)

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