Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mudhead Kachina

Mudhead Kachina Tile Bracelet The Koyemsi, or Mudhead Kachina, is a clown who is seen in many Native American ceremonies.  They are called "mudhead" because of the mud applied to their masks - in fact a dancer without a proper mask or late in arriving may easily become a Mudhead.  Most of the time Mudheads accompany other kachinas, but you could see a lone Mudhead acting as a drummer for a dance.  Mudhead Kachinas dance, play games with the audience, and may act as announcers for events. They often give food or clothing prizes for the races and guessing games they organize.
Kachina Canes      This little guy presented quite a few trial and error challenges when creating him.  First off I created a background tile using the canes from my Sunface Kachina and a black and white step cane as a border.  It was cured and sanded along with little paddles that would be attached to the top and sides of the head and little tubes of clay baked around a crochet hook for the eyes and mouth.  My first go at this I made the face more shallow, but it wasn't deep enough for the inserted eyes, mouth and paddles to hold. They distorted the head when inserted, so I build up the face to be rounder.  I then added a red collar and a millefiori leaf to the forehead, did a final cure, and carefully sanded the complicated facial features.  In the future I'll probably readjust the design to be flatter again for wearability, but this was an  adorable beta version.
Mudhead KachinaMudhead KachinaMudhead Kachina
Mudhead Kachina

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