The Crow Mother (Angwusnasomtaka) is the female chief kachina that appears on all three mesas of the Hopi. She is the head of the Hu and Whipper Kachina and beloved by all. She is called the "mother" crow as she initiates the young boys into the Katsina rituals. In fact she is considered to be mother of all of the Katsina.
The Crow Mother appears during the ceremony known as the Powamu. The Powamu ceremony takes place after the second moon prior to the Spring Solstice. This exciting Hopi festival features the "advent of the supernaturals" and takes place over the course of 16 to 20 days. To announce this festival, a messenger is sent from kiva to kiva quietly spreading the news. During the festival, dances are performed by male tribesmen. Yes, even this Mother Crow would have been depicted by a male member of the tribe. This artist has taken his time to include the traditional basket that the Crow Mother is said to bring which is traditionally filled with bean sprouts or corn kernels to symbolize the beginning of the planting season.
This artist (Unknown) has paid close attention to the details that are quintessentially a part of the crow mother- painting her face with the upside down black triangle outlined in white- her stark white eyes and circular mouth indicate that this crow mother could be talking or even singing! Here the artist has taken extra care to carve out the crow feathers that adorn her headdress as well as the base of her bold turquoise mask. No kachina collection is complete without the crow mother!
Kachina: Crow Mother
Artist: Unknown signed JC, Hopi, Arizona
Dimensions: 5 in. x 2-1/2 in.