Hopi; Southwestern Native American
Unknown artist, Hopi; Southwestern Native American, Oraibi Mesa
Basketry plaque, late 19th century
Rabbit brush, sumac, or willow, yucca, kaolin, pigment; wicker plaited
Diameter: 45.1 cm (17 3/4 inches)
Museum Works of Art Fund 44.582
This Hopi basketry plaque bears the likeness of the deified ancestral spirit Sa’lakwmana (Shalako Maiden), a cloud spirit and bringer of rain. She is one of the earliest such spirits to be represented on Hopi baskets and first appears on wicker plaques from the Third Mesa settlement in the late nineteenth century. Although women wove the plaques, men painted the image of Shalako Maiden with indigo dye and other pigments on the white, kaolin-washed grounds.