“Shalako is my representation of the Zuni Pueblo figure. The Hopis have a similar event and do Shalako Kachinas. At Santa Clara we don’t do this ceremony,” Upton recently told me. This magnificent bronze is a visual depiction of the Shalako dances at Zuni Pueblo. The word Shalako means “messenger of the gods.” Shalako, one of the most famous of the dances and is held every December in the Zuni Pueblo. This dance celebrates the end of the old and the beginning of the new harvests of the year. The regalia of the dancers are unsurpassed in color and design.
This ceremony begins with a ritual crossing of the small river, which runs through the Pueblo and then makes its way through all the streets. They dance throughout the night, embodying the spirits and visiting specific houses in the Zuni Pueblo. The next day a ritual race is performed during which offering sticks are planted in the ground to bring general health and fertility to the village, its crops, and livestock. This deeply significant ceremony and feast have been closed to non-native peoples since 1990.
Medium: This bronze is number 12 of 12. There will be no more made.
Condition: Excellent – original condition
Provenance: Acquired from a private collector.