Vern Mahkee

Soyok Mana

13 1/2" H total height

Soyok Mana is one of several orges women during the Powamu Ceremony. During this ceremony they visit houses of a Hopi village and they threaten children who have misbehaved and ask for food. They either whistle their disapproval of or accept the food to be taken to the kivas.

A more commonly seen figure is the Soyok Wuhti. This carving has the butterfly whorl hairdo, indicating she is a not-yet-married Ogre Maiden.

"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)

Vern Mahkee was born November 13, 1963 and resides in Oraibi, at Third Mesa. He is a member of the Corn Clan.

Vern is a self-taught artist. He learned the art of carving by watching his numerous artistic relatives, like his uncle, the famed Kachina carver Alvin James Makya, and taught himself their methods as well as developing his own.

Vern Mahkee first carved Kachinas as a means of carrying on a religious rite. He began carving the dolls for sale and entering shows in 1979. Since that time he has developed a reputation for ultra-fine detail, as well as beautiful balance in his Kachinas.

He has won awards in such prestigious shows as the Santa Fe Indian Market. Vern¹s Hopi name is Kuwanwisiwima.

Gallery Price: $3,000.00

Sale: $2,400.00
(plus sh/han)

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