Maasaw Kachina by Lean Monongye, Hopi cottonwood, pigment 12.25" tall x 5.5" wide x 4" deep
Beneath everything that separates those in different cultures are common circumstances that every humanbeing faces. One of the most significant aspects of our existence is the mystery behind where we came from and where we will go when our time on Earth ends.
Maasaw teaches the Hopi people to live a simple and self-sufficient life. He was known to offer a bag of seeds, a gourd of water, a digging stick, and a cloak, demonstrating virtue through hard work and cultivation of the land. If the Hopi people dedicated life to their agricultural duties and respect for nature, Maasaw promised to watch over them and ensure a smooth passage into the afterlife.
The result is a strong tradition of Hopi ethics, with an emphasis on generosity and humility. As the Hopi Death Katsina, Maasaw can be scary and intimidating, but a force of good for all well-behaved Hopi people. This is because the Hopi do not see death as the end of life but as a necessary part of its cyclical nature.
Lean Monongye was born on November 29, 1972 in Keams Canyon, Arizona. He belongs to the Coyote Clan of the Hopi Tribe and currently resides in Third Mesa, AZ. Lean started carving in the late 1980's having been taught the art of carving by well known artists Sam and Brandon Kayquoptewa.
He effectively combined what he learned from them and added his own technique and style into his Kachina doll carvings. His favorite part in the making of a doll is painting it. Lean's finishing touch is one of the most recognized and admired finishes. Lean always wants to make his dolls look different and unique so that his work can be distinguished.
The Hopi people believe that life on Earth is an emergence into the “Fourth World,” and that a Kachina namedMaasaw, son of the Sun KatsinaTawa, serves as a guardian who gave permission to the Hopi people to enter the Fourth World.