Hopi; North American Indian; Pueblo culture
Sa’lakwmana (Shalako Maiden) figure
Unknown artist, Hopi; North American Indian; Pueblo culture
Sa’lakwmana (Shalako Maiden) figure, early 20th century
Cottonwood and pigments
21.9 x 7.6 cm (8 5/8 x 3 inches) Doll
Museum Works of Art Fund 44.615
This figure with her white face mask and elaborate headdress of stylized clouds personifies the deified ancestral spirit Sa’lakwmana. Carved from a single piece of cottonwood, she wears white boots and an eagle-feathered garment symbolizing clouds. Her outer garment is the traditional red, black, and white maiden’s wedding robe. Like rain clouds that bring life-giving water to the arid region, Sa’lakwmana’s wedding robe, feathered garment, and headdress represent fertility and cycles of regeneration. Her headdress and mask incorporate several features that are also common to carvings of Palhikwmana (Butterfly Maiden), a figure often interchangeable with Sa’lakwmana in Hopi ceremonies.