Hopi Butterfly Kachina Doll
Butterfly Items

Hopi Butterfly Kachina Doll


Hopi Butterfly Kachina Doll

Hopi Butterfly Kachina Doll by Henry Shelton. The Butterfly Dance is a harvest thanksgiving dance,  for the corn crop & features dancing by young. Hopi maidens wearing elaborate headdresses.

1 in stock

Hopi Butterfly Kachina Doll

Hopi Butterfly Kachina Doll

signed by Henry Shelton

Hopi Carved Butterfly Maid Sculpture. Palhik Mana is a Butterfly Maid,  a woman dancer. Though at the dances the Butterfly Maid is not masked or hooded, she generally appears this way when carved as a doll. Her tablita (headdress) carries symbols for corn and butterflies, which pollinate the corn helping to bring a good harvest. She generally appears in August, as that is when the butterflies appear. The Butterfly Dance, a traditional social dance of the Hopi, is held in August after the gathering of the harvest and presentation of the Snake Dance. It is a thanksgiving dance for the harvest, chiefly for the corn crop and features dancing by young Hopi maidens wearing elaborate headdresses. This maiden by Henry Shelton has a grand headdress. Very details Kachina with mask and long hair.

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.

A rare Henry Shelton Butterfly Maiden. The top feathers are not pristine so I listed it as New with default.

Hopi Butterfly Kachina Doll


15.00 in. tall to feather tops


Henry Shelton cgHS02


Hopi Katsinam are crafted to acknowledge celestial beings, significant animals to the Hopi people, and the ancestors who help with their harvest, raising their spirits as well as raising their children. The Hopi people believe that the Katsina dancers possess supernatural powers, though they are men from the village wearing masks and feathered costumes.

“Some Native objects can inspire awe in non-Native viewers, much in the way that one might respond to a fine work of art without knowing the cultural background of the imagery. The most intriguing objects ….are those that “remind us of what came before” and that have “an intense attention to detail, and an inherent beauty.” Anyone who walks in the room should be affected by it, even if they have no idea about the context behind it. We agreed that there is something compelling about the katsina (often called kachina) standing before us.” *By: Margaret Bruchac An Object Beautiful

There are hundreds of Hopi Katsinam, “personations” of supernatural beings, important animals and ancestors who help the Hopi people raise their crops, their children, and their spirits. The Katsina dancers are men wearing masks–each of which represents a particular Katsina–and paint and feathered costumes. Everyone in the village, aside from the children, knows that the Katsina dancers are actually men from the village, though Katsinam are still believed to have supernatural powers. Much of the value in these dances is found to be instructing the young. Hand carved and collector items. Signed and numbered.

All carvings are Signed

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Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 20 × 10 × 20 in


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