Momo (Bee) Kachina by Larry, Melendez, Hopi Pueblo
Momo (Bee) Kachina by Larry, Melendez, Hopi Pueblo cottonwood, shell, feathers, pigment 14" high x 4.5" wide x 3.5" deep
The Momo Kachina comes out during the Water Serpent Ceremony, held whenthe sun rises over the Munyâ'ovi cliffs. In the dance, the Bee Kachina of the Hopi imitates the hum of the bee and goes from one spectator to another, shooting play arrows at them. For the children, if they get "shot", the Bee Kachina squirts water on their "wound", and gives them honey.
By performing this ceremony, the Hopi (and Zuni) believe that the bees will bring the winds carrying rain from each direction because they fly in all directions. The honey is also used in some prayers, and because honey is thick, they want the rain to be as thick for their crops.
Larry Melendez is from Sichomovi, First Mesa on the Hopi Reservation. He is is Butterfly and Badger Clan. Larry is the son of Thelma Denet, who is a traditional potter, and Mario Melendez. He is the brother of Tammy Denet and Manuel Denet Chavarria Jr. a carver. He was a student of Katsina carver Fred Ross. Larry has gotten many awards for his Old Style Traditional Katsinam. Many of his pieces harken back to the Route 66 Katsinam that were so popular in the 1960s.
Melendez believes that his art is a way of giving back to his community and hopes that he can leave something for younger generations to learn from and build upon.
"That is what I would like to instill in the carvers under me," Melendez says. "I have a lot of young artists who come over just to learn. They come in and they are just curious and they want to learn and that is good. They learn it and retain it and with some luck they will pass it on. I would hate to have my grandkids have to go into a museum to learn how we were." - Larry Melendez, Navajo-Hopi Observer