Signed Clayton Kaniatobe (1915-1984) 10.5" Hopi Kachina Doll Wupamo Katsina

  • $799.97

Only 1 left!

Signed Clayton Kaniatobe (1915-1984) 10.5" Hopi Kachina Doll Wupamo Katsina Cottonwood

This is an authentic vintage Hopi kachina doll hand carved from cottonwood root by renowned Hopi artist Clayton Kaniatobe (1915-1984). It depicts Wupamo, the guard katsina spirit who fiercely protects the people.

Wupamo stands 11" tall, with great detail in the face carving and traditional colors. He carries yucca whips in his hands to fend off unwary spectators. The fur ruff, horns, and feathers are all original and intact. The cottonwood has a wonderful aged patina. 

This unique collector's item is a testament to Kaniatobe's artistic prowess and the rich cultural heritage of the Hopi people. Perfect for enthusiasts, collectors, and those appreciating the beauty of Native American art.

This doll appears to be intricately carved from a single piece of wood, except for some ornamentation, (wood may be cottonwood root, but can't be sure), and is beautifully detailed and colorful. The signature of the artist, Clayton Kaniatobe, is penned on the base of the doll. 

Best I can determine via internet research, is this this Kachina Doll was crafted by Clayton Kaniatobe in the 1950-1970 timeframe.

This piece is part of a private collection that is being sold (watch for more pieces in the near future). The owner's father purchased many of his Hopi artwork pieces, over a forty year period, with many directly from the Native American artists/potters.

Approx. Size: 10-1/2" T x 4-1/4" W x 4-1/8" D

Approx. Weight: 5.2 ozs

Sold as is. No warranty from the Seller. No Returns.

CONDITION NOTE: Used, but in very good vintage condition. This piece does not appear to have any chips, cracks, hairlines, or repairs that I can see (see pictures). This Katsina has vibrant colors (see pictures). Since these are vintage pieces of art, they do come with natural imperfections and discolorations that add to their character (zoom into photos to look for any imperfections), and there may be some signs of wear or age that are typical for an item of its age. Does not come with any original boxes, packaging, or any related paperwork. Will be packed carefully and insured for safe shipping. See detailed (zoom-able) pictures to know what you are purchasing. 

SHIPPING NOTE: Katsina dolls are fragile by nature and may be broken in transit. I will do my best to pack it efficiently and carefully, however due to their fragility, transit damage may be unavoidable in some cases. Please keep this in mind when purchasing katsina dolls online for shipping. Luckily, katsina dolls do not decrease in value when repaired and can usually be repaired in the comfort of your home using a mixture of wood and super glue for smaller, clean breaks. For more extensive repairs from transit damage, contact an expert.

Short Biography of the Carver:

Clayton Kaniatobe (1915-1984) was a Hopi artist from Second Mesa, Arizona. He helped revive the tradition of kachina doll carving in the 1950s and was influential in the Hopi carving renaissance of the 1960s-70s. Kaniatobe experimented with action poses and expressive carving styles while still respecting the spiritual meaning behind the kachinas. His carvings are highly collectible today.

Kaniatobe's artistic journey began under the guidance of his grandfather, who was a skilled Kachina carver. Over the years, he honed his skills by studying various Kachina styles and refining his techniques. His dedication to his craft is evident in each of his pieces, which reflect a deep understanding of Hopi traditions and symbolism.

Today, Clayton Kaniatobe's Kachina dolls are sought after by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. His work not only embodies the cultural richness of the Hopi people but also serves as a testament to his commitment to preserving and sharing his heritage through art. Owning a Kachina Doll crafted by Clayton Kaniatobe is not just owning a piece of art – it's owning a piece of Hopi history and culture.

The main purpose of the Kachina doll is ceremonial and educational. The kachina spirits represent various aspects of Hopi religion and culture, and the dolls are used to teach Hopi children about these spirits. They also play a role in certain ceremonies, where they may be gifted by men dressed as kachinas. Over time the dolls have become artistic carvings collected by non-Hopis as well. But their ceremonial meaning remains primary for the Hopi people.

Search Keywords:

  • Hopi kachina doll, 
  • guard katsina, 
  • vintage doll,
  • traditional carving, 
  • cottonwood root, 
  • fur ruff, 
  • feathers
  • Hopi Kachina
  • Clayton Kaniatobe
  • Wupamo Katsina
  • Native American Art
  • Cottonwood Carving
  • Collectible Kachina
  • Hopi Carver
  • Southwest Art
  • Indigenous Craft
  • Tribal Sculpture


NOTE: If you would like to see all the vintage artwork I currently have listed, please check out this eBay Store category to watch for more pieces being added over the coming weeks/months: