Honovi – Walpi Snake Priest

This plate depicts the accoutrement of a Snake dancer on the day of the Antelope dance. The right hand grasps a pair of eagle feathers - the "snake whip" - and the left a bag of ceremonial meal. Honovi was one of the author's principal informants. After witnessing the Snake Dance ceremony, Curtis wrote:

"I was profoundly moved, and realized if I was to fully understand its significance, I must participate, if permission could be obtained."

He asked the chief of the Hopi Snake Society if he might learn the ways of the fraternity and participate — with the goal of shooting pictures. Curtis stressed that he was not trying to become an Indian. He just wanted inside, to try on the metaphorical clothes of the natives. The answer—forget it. Impossible, the chief said; no one out.

Image Size » H: 15" • W: 10"
Framed Size » H: 28" • W: 24"