Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hopi Rattlesnake Pendant

I just put this piece up on EBay and in the process decided it deserved a place on the blog. This is another art treasure by Charlie Lewis (see previous entry) that I picked up in Hopi land today.

The rattlesnake is an integral part of Hopi tradition. Long before George Hensley of Tennessee initiated the Appalachia snake handling movement, the Hopi's had theirs. It's rare for a non Indian to be admitted to their snake handling ceremony but they have been well documented in early photographs and even by Teddy Roosevelt, see: for a fairly detailed description.
I would love to gain admittance to one of their ceremonies, but I am not holding out hope. I have, as a most interested observer, attended a few snake handler churches in the Southeast. The rattlers are deceptively innocuous appearing despite the loud music, shouting exhortations, bouncing, and active handling.

It does take a bit of wallet fat to purchase either the Rattlesnake or Warrior Mouse.