2015-08 Kiva jar with wooden katchina and ladder

Object ID:
2015-08

Artist:
Randall Sahmie

Dimensions:
3.922” h X (2.78” X 3.23”) w

This is a unique pairing of clay jar and wooden carving. Their combination is a demonstration of the creative talent of Randall Sahmie and a reminder of what we have lost too soon.

The jar is almost undecorated and is in the shape of an ovoid pressed slightly flat. The finish and form are smooth and invite a caress, like a water-worn stone. The lip has been cut away to form a high rim that steps down to a lower section. Three thin black lines form inverse “Y” elements along the lower rim. Two casually drawn lines are drawn below but parallel to the higher rim; several shorter lines run perpendicular. This minimal design suggests the masonry blocks that form traditional kivas.

Randall (1950 – 2008) was better known as a painter and katchina carver than a potter. For this pot he has taken a stick of wood and carved the head of Angakchina or “Long-Haired Katchina” on one end. Assembled separately by Randall was a two-step ladder that was originally glued to the stick. The stick was then glued inside the jar so that Angakchina appears to be climbing out of his kiva to dance in the village plaza. It’s a striking image, especially if you have ever seen katchinas emerge from their kiva a dawn.

Note that only other depiction of Angakchina in this collection is found on bowl 2015-05 by Lawrence Namoki, also a katchina carver as well as potter.

Purchase History:
Jar 2015-08 was purchased on EBay 8/2/15 from Diane Barnett of San Marcos, CA. When asked about provenance, she replied: “I bought these and other Native American items from the San Diego Public Administrator / Public Guardian …At the time (7/23/12), they had just hired a private auctioneer to perform all of their auctions …and since they were so new they would not give me any information about the estate. I think [the original owner] was a woman (whose name might have been Betty) who had an extensive collection, I bought 3 lots and only scratched the surface. . She also had about 30 Kachina, drawings and many books.” The San Diego Public Administrator acts as the Public Guardian of people who are no longer able to manage their own affairs or is responsible for the estates of people who die with no will.