Natives of the southwest love their horses, in general, and this artist is no different. Unfortunately, one of his horses didn’t like him, or whatever spooked it, and Irvin suffered a very bad fall.
This beautifully delicate carving is the first he has made since recuperating, and it is just gorgeous.
Butterfly Maidens are not actual kachinas, but rather female dancers. However, when carved, they are usually shown with a masked face, as here.
Butterflies help propagate crops and other plants, so are a welcome good luck sign. They emerge in springtime, so also herald the planting season.
This lovely carving shows Anasazi ruins, within and below the gracefully hollowed out figure, suggesting she is an ancestral spirit, hovering over the people, for centuries.
Every detail is meticulously fashioned: from the elegantly formed and painted butterfly wings, to the feathers on her head, the elaborately etched necklace of feathers, her long sweep of hair, and the exquisitely painted designs on her double sash and embroidered edge of her traditional dress.
Within the hollowed body (whose edges are amazingly thin), an ancient cliff village is carved, on several levels. The tiny earthen bricks are clearly carved, as is the rocky staircase that links the houses.
No matter which angle you look at, this sculpture is serenely beautiful, with a hint of Asia in its stillness, and decorative quality.
This Butterfly Maiden will share her beauty and spiritual quality with her lucky owner, every day.