Naha, Rainy – Jar with Ahola Katsina and Hero Twin Figure
Rainy Naha is well known for her creative and intricately designed pottery. This jar is a new design for her, and it is inspired by the Awatovi murals. Awatovi was a Hopi village from around 1300 to 1700. In the 1930’s J. O. Brew of the Peabody Museum conducted extensive archeological excavations at Awatovi. Most of the murals were removed and are now at the Peabody Museum. The last image is one of the actual murals. Rainy Naha has depicted two figures on this jar. One side has one of the Hero Twins holding a bow and arrow. The other is one Ahola katsina. The story of the Ahola katsina is:
The Ahola is a Hopi Chief Katsina of very high order. He is considered an elder and chief. The Ahola appears at the Bean Dance (Powamuya) ceremony to open the Katsina ceremonial season. The Ahola brings prayers for a long and healthful life. He and Ahola Mana go from house to house making their appearance. On the outside walls of each home, the Ahola draws four horizontal marks with corn meal. The women inside the house come out and sprinkle the Ahola with cornmeal and at the same time take some corn seeds from the Ahola Mana’s basket. The two leave and go to the kiva entrance and face each other. He holds his staff out for support and strength and bends his right knee and continues kneeling and standing in rhythmic motion.
Here the Ahola is depicted with his staff and the basket of corn seeds painted with the four directions. Separating the two figure panels are four bands of Hopi-Tewa pottery designs. Each of the squares has a different design from classic Hopi-Tewa pottery. So why the Awatovi designs? Rainy’s mother, Helen “Feather Woman” Naha, lived on a ranch in the Jeddito Valley, below the Awatovi Ruins and Helen was the first revivalist of their black and white pottery. Rainy has continued this revival with her innovative designs. The jar is painted with various clay slips along with bee-weed, which is black. It was traditionally fired and it is signed on the bottom with a feather and “Rainy”. Rainy has won numerous awards for her pottery at Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Market and her work continues to be a creative inspiration in Hopi-Tewa pottery.