Augustine Mowa, Jr. is a kachina carver as well as a jewelry maker. He learned both crafts from his father, Augustine Sr.
This is exquisitely precise overlay work. A Hopi overlay piece consists of two wholly separate works; the underlying layer which is stamped for texture and oxidized and the overlayer which is carefully cut out with a jeweler's jigsaw and soldered to the underlying layer. The mark of a fine piece is the detail and precision of the cut-out portion and the intricacy of the textured stamping which shows through that part of the overlayer which is cut out. This piece rates very high on both counts.
This is a classic Hopi rendering of a group of Longhair Kachinas. Note the thunderhead dead center at the top of the scene, the two corn plants that grow around it and the lightning bolts at the top far left and far right. What we find most compelling about this is how the kachinas are viewed within a frame and very close up; it's like bringing you into the center of the dance. Splendidly mystical.
Hallmarked with a pictograph of a sun, crescent moon and a star. Also stamped Sterling inside.
Uniform width: 1 3/8"
Terminal to terminal: 5 3/4"
Gap: 1 1/4"
Total inside circumference (including gap): 7"