The Deer Dancer takes part
in the popular plaza kachina dances. According to Kachinas by
Barton Wright "he has power over the rain, and of course,
when he dances, he is a prayer for increase of deer.
"Usually when a group
of these dancers appear they are accompanied by a Wolf or Mountain
Lion Kachina as a side dancer. Presumably the first Deer Kachinas
were brought from Awatovi, which may be correct as they retain
a strong Rio Grande appearance.
"The position that this
kachina usually assumes when he dances is that of bending forward
at the waist and resting the front part of the body upon the
short stick that is carried in his hands."
- Barton Wright, Kachinas: a Hopi
Artists Documentary (166)
Lowell Talashoma was born
January 23, 1950 in the village of Moencopi, Arizona at the western
edge of the Hopi reservation. He spent many of his childhood
years in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a Mormon foster family.
In spite of his separation
from the Hopi influence, his talent for carving came through
as he began carving different animals from wood at the age of
6 as a Cub Scout.
Upon his return to Hopi at
about the age of 10 he began carving kachina dolls and has been
doing so now for almost 40 years. After Lowell's return to Hopi
he spent many years trying to reconcile the Mormon and Hopi religions.
He now feels the two flow together well for him. As a result,
Lowell is a very spiritual man.
Lowell states, "I try
to carve the dolls the way the Kachinas are in the dances. I
look at them the way they walk, the way they stand and how they
give the gifts."
Lowell's emphasis is on the
surface treatment of the wood, creating a multitude of various
textures that give a very realistic appearance. Lowell has also
done carvings in bronze and is an accomplished painter too
Lowell's figures portray the
human body in full action and in anotomic proportion. Lowell
is featured in most every book on Kachinas. He is featured in
Hopi Kachina Dolls and Their Carvers by Theda Bassman on pages
150-154 and in The Art of the Hopi by Lois and Jerry Jacka on
Lowell's work is also shown
in Erik Bromberg's Kachina Doll Carving on pages 26,27 and 30.
In Helga Tiewes book, Kachina Dolls, Lowell is featured on pages
The Kachina is signed on the
bottom of the base: "Lowell Talashoma, Sr."