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The Gnarly Root Project: Part 7

An update on Gerry Quotskuyva's challenging creation

In 2018, I received a prestigious fellowship from the School for Advanced Research (SAR) to begin a significant Katsina carving, which I named the "Gnarly Root Project." The Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellowship provided housing, a private studio, and a stipend enabling me to dedicate myself entirely to the project and initiate such an ambitious creation in privacy. Regrettably, over the years, I have had limited opportunities to work on the sculpture.

Hopi Katsina Anamolies: The Unusual, Rare and Unique featuring a 12 page chapter on the Gnarly Root
New Book

The release of a new book in March, "Hopi Katsina Anomalies: The Unusual, Rare and Unique," which includes a 12-page chapter on the Gnarly Root, has rekindled my involvement in the project, even if it's just for a few hours each week. The project also received coverage in a 2020 Cowboys and Indians Magazine article. This post serves to refresh the memory of those who have followed the blog and to introduce it to new subscribers. For a comprehensive understanding of the process thus far, you can read several articles on my blog. Simply visit my blog page.

The Gnarly Root is an extraordinary assembly of cottonwood roots where three roots have merged to form two large joints with a gap between them. It stands four and a half feet tall, with additional roots spreading from the main joints. It is, in itself, a natural work of art. After years of curing this root, I had a precise idea for it, but my vision transformed on the first day of my residency. Exiting the Puebloan house I would call home for the next three months, I encountered a doe standing on the tree-lined dirt road that sloped downhill for 187 steps—the inspiration for my third blog published the day after I moved to the SAR campus. This encounter led to the cluster's front featuring only Manas, or female Katsinam. The sculpture evolved into a commentary on the Hopi world's history and its challenges in preserving a sustainable yet traditional way of life. The rear showcases men engaged in labor, symbolizing the effort to sustain ancient customs. You'll see wood and coal gatherers, farmers, hunters, men serenading the clouds, a priest, and several male katsinam connected to these activities. During my last public presentation, I recognized the need to incorporate the evolution of Puebloan architecture, a hallmark of our culture. Furthermore, as the work progresses, I plan to integrate additional historical elements into the final piece.

The Gnarly Root could be a colossal undertaking for any carver who is trying to create a timepiece as the Hopi continue to survive living a traditional way of life in a modern rapidly evolving society. Please consider supporting my project by purchasing work that I will be offering as a means of income. You can visit my website at my Shopping page. carvings that will become available throughout the following months as I commit as much time as possible to make this project happen.

Thanks for reading this to the end, and as a reward I will be offering an additional 15% sale to celebrate the renewal of this project. Thank you very much for your support. GERRY QUOTKSUYVA


Push arrow to scroll a selection of the available pieces

Gerry Quotskuyva



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