Kachina Boogie

From spring or summer of ’98 – I suspected that this illustration was inspired by reading Darker Than Night by Owl Goingback. It’s one of a surprising virile sub-genre of horror fiction – the White identified Native American fighting an ancient evil that the Native Americans once put down and the White folks have stirred up again.

Checking Darker Than Night‘s publication date (1999) I see that apparently something else inspired these kachina sketches. Can’t remember what. I’ve always liked kachinas though.

2 thoughts on “Kachina Boogie

  1. Nice to see sketchbook works.

    The pueblo people haven’t allowed anyone to photograph kachinas for many years now. Kachina carvings are created and sold but these are purposefully desanctified, that is, their details do not quite match the Real Thing.

    When K & I visited Zuni, a pueblo in New Mexico, we didn’t see one of the dances (although we were told tourists had opportunity to attend some) but we did see a procession of kachina dancers passing down the street and they really are striking. They wear bells and rattles so make a constant rolling rumble merely walking. And the paints are bright and sharp. All the dancers wear masks over their heads which make them otherworldly.

  2. Part of what I find attractive about kachinas is that otherworldliness. They don’t look like idealized human beings like the Greek and Roman gods I read about growing up. They look like something else. Like representations of other powers that happen to have humanoid form. Action figures for the symbolic and the unexplainable.

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