Henry Shelton

Snake Dancer

12" total height

"This is the snake dancer who is one of the social dancers who used to appear in mid-August at several of the villages. During the dance performance the Snake priests, accompanied by the Antelope priests, dance with live rattlesnakes and/or bull snakes in their mouths.

The live snakes are referred to by the priests as their 'elder brothers.' These are obviously not dancers with 'faces' and therefore are not 'Kachinas.' Information in much greater detail can be found in the books Hopi Snake Ceremonies by Jesse Walter Fewkes, and Moki Snake Dance by Walter Hough, both from Avanyu Publishing.

In recent years the Snake Dance has only been performed at the Second Mesa villages of Mishongnovi and Shungopavi. There is no difference in the costumes between the First Mesa variety and any of the other mesas. This dance has been closed to non-Indians since 1986."

- Ricks, J. Brent, et al., Kachinas: Spirit Beings of the Hopi (114)

Henry Shelton, who’s Hopi name is Ho-ya’oma, translated to Arrow Carrying, is from the village of Oraibi on Third Mesa on the Hopi Reservation. His father was Peter Shelton, Sr. and his brother is Peter Shelton, Jr. both of whom were carvers of katsina dolls.

Henry attended the Santa Fe Indian School from 1944 to 1949. His awards and exhibitions are too numerous to mention here. He devoted much of his life to creating katsina dolls, paintings, and sculptures.

He is in collections of the Smithsonian, Museum of Northern Arizona, Kansas State Historical Society, Denver Art Museum and Heard Museum and many private collections. His work is eagerly sought.

Gallery Price: $525.00

Sale: $420.00
(plus sh/han)

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