Jon Cordero

Soyok Wuhti

14 1/2" 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)

Born June 16, 1968 to the village of Moenkopi, Arizona, Jon is the son of a Hopi mother, and a Cochiti father who died when Jon was just a baby.

Although Jon was raised on the Hopi Reservation, he would always spend a month each summer with his Cochiti grandmother, the famed matriarch of storytellers, Helen Cordero. His grandmother tried to teach him to make storytellers, but it just wasn't his calling.

Instead, when he was in high school, he learned to carve Kachina dolls from his uncles, Hopi master carvers Loren Phillips and Tom Holmes. And Loren was not only his teacher but also continued to encourage Jon in his carving through the years.

Like the traditional Hopi Jon continually strives to be, he works very hard all the time tending to his cattle and his horse as well as planting and tending his crops of corn, beans, melons and squash. And he participates in the dances, in respect to the Kachinas.

Yet Jon always finds time to do what he likes best, and that is to carve. Instead of carving alone, Jon prefers the company of other carvers. His favorite carving buddy has always been his cousin and clan brother Leonard Selestewa, who was also always a great source of encouragement for Jon. Among the many books on Hopi Kachinas that mention Jon and his work is Theda Bassman's Hopi Kachina Dolls and their carvers.

Jon says he is serious about his carving and wants to carve for the rest of his life. Whenever he finishes a carving he hopes it will find a good home, and whoever buys it will admire it for the rest of their lives. Jon has become well-known for his beautiful, realistic Kachina doll carvings and his work has become highly sought after.

Gallery Price: $3,900.00

Sale: $3,120.00
(plus sh/han)

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