“Guardian of the Pueblo,” c. 1990
17.5” tall x 5” wide x 4” deep
Orin Poley Jr. was born in 1942 in the Hopi village of Bacabi, Arizona. Orin specializes in Kachinas as sculptures, rather than full-figure dolls. The full-figure Katchinas of the Hopi have to be carved accurately with regard to the colors, clothing, masks, etc. The sculptural form gives the Orin the freedom to let the wood guide the shape of the figure, to use multiple figures and pueblo depictions on one piece of wood, and to use colors and symbols that speak to him.
“I looked at the carvings of my uncle Alvin James, and tried to capture the technique and style that he used. As I developed more, I started to do in my own way. My uncle encouraged me to try to improve with each doll, I want every doll to be better than the last one.” - Orin Poley, Jr.
Orin set a record winning over 30 ribbons in 30 years at the Santa Fe Indian Market. His work can be found in both private and public collections including the Heard Museum, Arizona, the Brooklyn Museum, New York, and The Eiteljorg Museum, Indiana.