Koshare Contest

c. 1920s
(San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1895–1955)
(San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1879–1943)
Page: 57.5 x 36.5 cm (22 5/8 x 14 3/8 in.)
Location: not on view
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

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This painting depicts the pole climb that occurs every year during the San Gerónimo Feast Day in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. The striped characters clambering up the pole toward a treasure are koshare (co-shar-eh), the sacred clowns of Pueblo religion. Like European American clowns, koshare provide comic entertainment, but they are much more complex. For instance, they behave in exaggerated ways that turn social norms upside down, thus highlighting and reinforcing the norms.
Koshare Contest

Koshare Contest

c. 1920s

Awa Tsireh (Alfonso Roybal), Julian Martinez

(San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1895–1955), (San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1879–1943)
America, Native America, San Ildefonso pueblo, Early 20th century

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