Thank you Ann Howard and Simone Kincaid, both retired archeologists, for identifying on ButtonBytes forum that this picture is that of Hopi Kachina doll (Google Search).
Hopi katsina figures (Hopi language: tithu or katsintithu), also known as kachina dolls, are figures carved, typically from cottonwood root, by Hopi people to instruct young girls and new brides about katsinas or katsinam, the immortal beings that bring rain, control other aspects of the natural world and society, and act as messengers between humans and the spirit world.
There are four generally accepted forms of the kachina figures; each form is meant to represent a different stage of postnatal development.
- Putsqatihu – these figures are made specifically for infants; these are simply flat figures that contain enough characteristics of the kachina so it is identifiable.
- Putstihu taywa’yla – these figures have flat bodies and three-dimensional faces that are generally meant for toddlers.
- Muringputihu – these figures have cylindrical bodies, fully carved heads, and are meant specifically for infant girls.
- Tithu – the traditional, full-bodied kachina figures that is given to Hopi girls aged two and up at Hopi ceremonies. These figures represent the final stage of postnatal development.
In addition to these traditional forms, a modern variation is now being created: the miniature kachina figure. These are mostly created by Hopi women, are only produced for trade, and are not always considered to be kachina figures.
-Wikipedia: Hopi Kachina figure
By Pierce, C.C. (Charles C.), 1861-1946 – Public Domain, Link
Button question by Sonja Medcalf
The above is based on the National Button Society's Classification System.
WRBA Button Album encourages discussions across various button groups, in-person or online. Please reach out to us with additional information or suggestions.