This artist, like many Natives, is an avid horseman. Unfortunately, one of his horses spooked, and Irvin suffered a very bad fall.
This beautifully delicate carving is his first, post-recuperation, and it is just gorgeous.
Butterfly Maidens are not actual kachinas, but rather female dancers. They have a very important ceremonial and spiritual role, however.
Butterflies help propagate crops and other plants, so are a welcome good luck sign. They emerge in springtime, so also herald the planting season.
Irvin is known for his detailed carving, and exquisite painting. Both aspects are shown in this wonderful figure.
Anasazi ruins, below the gracefully hollowed out figure, suggest she is an ancestral spirit, hovering over the people, bringing hopes of a good harvest.
An unusual feature is the bowl of cornmeal, carved right out of the wood. This unique feature emphasizes the prayers for abundant crops.
Every detail of the carving is meticulously fashioned: from the elegantly formed and painted butterfly wings, to the feathers on her head, the elaborately carved and etched necklace and earrings, her long sweep of hair, and the superbly painted designs on her double sash and embroidered ,traditional dress.
Within the hollowed body (whose edges are amazingly thin), an ancient cliff village is carved. The tiny earthen bricks are clearly carved, as is the rocky staircase that links the houses to the ceremonial basket.
No matter from which angle you look at it, this carving is serenely beautiful, and decorative, at the same time.
This exceptional Butterfly Maiden will share her beauty and spiritual quality with you, every day.