Jimmy Kootshongsie (1916-1996) Biography

Best known as Jimmy Koots, Jimmy Kootshongsie was a popular kachina carver famous for his comical dolls.  He was born in the Third Mesa village of Hotevilla but as was common practice at the time, he was removed from his family and placed in a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school for five years in an attempt at forced assimilation of Native Americans.  

His second immersion in the Anglo world came during World War II when he fought in the Pacific theater.  In spite of - or perhaps because of - these experiences, Koots became an activist for Hopi traditionalism.  He published a Hopi newspaper in the 1970s and 1980s and was featured in a documentary film, “Autobiography of a Hopi.” 

Jimmy Kootshongsie kachinas were mostly sold in a Santa Fe shop, Rare Things by Dutton, that operated from the 1960s to 1980s.