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A painted katsina doll featuring a long protruding horn characteristic of Saiyatasha | Donald Ellis Gallery

Saiyatasha Katsina

New Mexico

ca. 1900-1920

wood, paint, hide, cotton, yarn, metal

height: 17 ½"

Inventory # S4045b

Please contact the gallery for more information.


Private collection, Paris, France


The Brooklyn Museum – See: Feder, Norman. Two Hundred Years of North American Indian Art. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971, pg. 85, pl. 102 (a mask)

Haberland, Wolfgang. Kachina-Figuren der Pueblo-Indianer Nordamerikas aus der Studiensammlung Horst Antes. Karlsruhe: Badisches Landesmuseum, 1980, pg. 51, fig. 49

Kachina: Poupees Rituelles des Indiens Hopi et Zuni. Marseille: Musees de Marseilles, 1994, pg. 122, pl. 133

Native to the river valley running along either side of the border between New Mexico and Arizona, the Zuni share many social and religious structures with other Pueblo cultures. Although their language is distinct from that of their direct neighbours, ceremonial life similarly evolves around personifications of the essential life forces, which are known as koko. Saiyatasha, or Long Horn, is one of the most important characters in the Zuni ceremonial cycle, ensuring the correct procedure of the Salako ceremony and the right placement of prayer sticks every full moon. Saiyataca’s appearance typically includes a single horn protruding from the right side of his head. As early as the 19th century, a number of Zuni koko were taken over by the Hopi, where Saiyataca is known as Sai-astasana, or Rain Priest of the North.