Route 66 Revisited: Kachina Doll and Fred Harvey Rug
Last Saturday, Mr. Andrew and I went to an Estonian rummage sale at St. John’s Lutheran. We got there very late in the day, but it was a classic church rummage sale: great stuff at great prices. According to the rules of austerity, I set my budget for $5. I got a bag of wool and this super cool 1950s Hopi Kachina Doll.
Kachina Dolls (in Hopi Katsina) are carved from the root of the cottonwood tree. they are made for young girls to instruct them about the different spirit beings. This particular figure was made for the tourist trade along the historic Route 66. We know this because it’s lathe-turned and that it has a base (the Hopi hang their dolls from the wall, tourists preferred to stand them on a shelf). It’s signed BADGER and $3.75 on the bottom. Badger is the type of Katsina that the doll represents. In the 1950s, the dolls were priced at $1 an inch. This doll is 3 1/4 inches.
Basically I fell into a deep research hole after I found my Badger. I also read up on the tourist trade at that time. I knew a bit about it from having amassed a small collection of Bell Trading Post jewellery and seeing pieces described as Fred Harvey-Era.
I don’t know if it was fate or the fact that I was more aware because I had spent the previous day reading about Southwestern Trading Posts, but I spotted these two tourist items at the St. Lawrence Antique Market on Sunday. First up, a hand painted tray depicting a Katsina dancer.
And this Fred Harvey, Navajo-made rug. Sunday at the St. Lawrence Market had the best thrifting finds EVER. Too bad I couldn’t afford to buy this rug. I hope that it might still be there next Sunday (and that I miraculously find $85 bucks to buy it).