Kim Obrzut

< prev     back to artist     to list     next >

Harvest Dance

by Kim Obrzut

Size: 22"H x 9.5"W x 3''D
Medium: Bronze
Edition Size: 75

For thousands of years the Hopi people have used the plant materials found in the region to serve as functional and decorative household items such as baskets, cradle boards, trays, and sifters. Generations of Hopi weavers have passed down the demanding art of basketry, from Mother to daughter, granddaughter or niece, like an ancient chain that is today threatened by long, painstaking work that needs to be followed step by step.
Baskets are essential to the Hopi carrying on their traditional way of life and have many social and ceremonial functions, besides that of mere utility. In late Fall around harvest time, there's a social dance done by the women of Hopi to celebrate and give thanks for our many blessings and to pray for Winter moisture that will bring a healthy Spring harvest. Each Woman in the circle holds a beautiful basket in front of her as she gives thanks to the four directions. Foodstuff and household items are thrown to the crowd during the dance, but the most highly prized gifts are the baskets themselves, especially prized by the men who will literally roll down the Mesa just to be the one who obtains one. These baskets function as symbols of thanks and appreciation for a bountiful harvest. The baskets will sometimes be adorned in beautiful butterfly designs. Butterflies also represent seedlings, rainwater, rebirth of spring and nature.