1/2" total height
of the Navajo Kachina is one of the more enjoyable features of
the Navajo Kachina Dance. He does not speak but pantomimes whatever
the dance, acting as a leader in both singing and dancing. His
dance step is an exaggeration, and a very lively one, that may
be interspersed with a comic action such as the request for food
- mountains of food.
All of these requests
are done in pantomimes that bring laughter to the audience. The
Grandfather of Uncle has several variations but the one portrayed
here is the one that is most often seen.... The buckskin cape
over the shoulders is usually very long, almost brushing the
ground, and is used with great dramatic effect."
- Barton Wright, Kachinas:
a Hopi Artist's Documentary (182)
Born in 1944 on
First Mesa in the village of Hano, Arizona, Neil David Sr. -
a Hopi/Tewa - was carving kachina dolls before he was ten years
During his high
school years his paintings and sketches were sold through Byron
Hunter who managed McGee's store in Polacca, Arizona.
and kachina carvings can be found in private collections and
museums throughout the world. The set of 79 original paintings
by Neil, published in his book: Kachinas: Spirit Beings of
the Hopi, have been acquired by the Kashiwagi Museum in Tateshina,
Neil entered the
army and served in Germany during the Vietnam War. He resides
in Polacca, Arizona on the Hopi Indian Reservation and continues
to paint and carve. He sells his paintings and kachina dolls
through art galleries and direct comissions from collectors.
talents and creativity have brought him international recognition.
His humor is conveyed through the expressions and antics of his
Clown figures. His dedication and commitment to his heritage
is seen in his paintings and carvings.
of art and dedication to his culture gives a rare opportunity
to view elements of Hopi life without intruding on the society.
His insight, perception, and ability to capture on canvas, the
personalities and actions of performers and spectators during
the Hopi festivities have brought him wide acclaim and support
for calling him "the Hopis' Norman Rockwell."
Neil's work is
featured in over a dozen books and periodicals including Art
of the Hopi by Jerry Jacka, Treasures of the Hopi
by Theda Bassman, and Art of Kachina Doll Carving by