Butterfly Maiden Kachina
Butterfly Maiden is a favored subject, because she is instrumental in propagating plants, including crops, is recognizable, and very decorative.
Like most of his work, this lovely kachina is contemporary, carved with exquisite delicacy, grace and precision.
Vividly colorful, it is also unusually sculptural and intricate, with many added elements, and even perfect little fingernails!
The artist used the natural curve of the root to fashion a sinuous, female figure, with her head slightly bowed, under a cut-out, and brightly painted, tablita.
There is a spray of eagle feathers, with beaded clasp, attached to her bangs. At the back of her head, more eagle feathers are part of a sculpted rosette with dangling streamers in red, yellow and purple.
Every element is realistically detailed with amazing precision, including her long, black hair, facial features, the feathers, her earrings, bracelet, ring and heishi necklace.
She carries more feathers in one, beautifully carved hand, and holds up the other one, where a cut-out butterfly has alit. Graceful hands, fingernails, and butterfly, all superbly formed and painted.
Look at the lovely curve of the short shawl, cut so it hangs free, over one shoulder. It emphasizes and echoes the curve of her waist.
Her body and dress continue down to the embroidered hem and pleated base. Except for the feathers, tablita and butterfles, this is entirely one piece.
Attached to her skirt, is a Bright, thriving, flower, with another impossibly delicate butterfly drinking happily from a second blossom.
At the bottom of her dress, a minuscule Anasazi cliff dwelling ruin appears, every tiny adobe brick, and the kiva ladder crisply carved. She seems to hover above the ancestors.
Glimpsed on her flank, is a vibrant cloud cluster, with long strands of rainfall streaming down from it. A small painted rain sign is seen just below it, in back, on a black square of the hem.
With her tablita, cluster of feathers and streamers, and this rainfall element, the carving is almost as beautiful from the back as from the front.
In fact, this carving is so beautifully composed that it looks enchanting from any and every angle.
A remarkable figure that is ravishingly lovely, and carved with breathtaking skill.