Friday, March 7, 2008

Crotalus viridis nuntius

This spectacular sterling silver overlay Hopi rattlesnake ring was made by Berra Tawahongva from the Coyote Clan village of Mishongnovi. It held me fixed in fascination when I first saw it on one of my winter Hopi buying trips. My first thought was that it was a perfect fit for a HOG who freely boasts of his affiliation with an outlaw bikers group. You know the kind of husky, beer-bellied man who sports his leather clad trophy woman around on a fierce looking hard-tail chopper; the kind of biker who likes little better than to conclude his riding day by strutting in loud, proud, and pushy to the nearest beer joint for a triple-meat green chili cheeseburger and never less than 16 ounces of Coors on tap. So much for my imagination, I've discovered that this fine serpent creation has almost universal appeal even to those of delicate sensibilities. Several women have expressed disappointment that this ring was forged in a man's size (11.5). It would be interesting to know it's history many generation from now. There is no question that it should eventually find a home in museum display.

note: the skeleton Kachina symbol in the upper left hand corner is Berra's distinctive hallmark.