Art and American Indians

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Classic Hopi and Zuni Kachina Figures

Barton Wright
Photographs by Andrea Portago

Photographer Andrea Portago saw her first kachina in the early seventies in the studio of George Terasaki, from whom her friend and collaborator Andy Warhol was buying Native American art. When Alan Kessler’s collection of kachinas was auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1997, an extraordinary collection of classic kachina figures was unveiled that served as the impetus for Portago’s exploration of the carvings. Presented here are classic-era (1880s-1940s) Hopi and Zuni carved dolls that have rarely been displayed. Portago gracefully photographed these rare figures using available light so as not to distort their colors, and to reveal their drama and passion.


Barton Wright is the foremost authority on Hopi Kachinas and author of Clowns of the Hopi: Traditional Keepers and Delight Makers and Kachinas: A Hopi Artist’s Documentary (both from Northland Publishing).

Andrea Portago was born in New York City and raised and educated in Europe and the Far East. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography in New York and the Santa Fe Workshops. She holds a master's degree in history from Columbia University.

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

10 x 12 in. 186 pages 84 color photographs, 31 duotones