Shalako Mana Kachina, 2021 Eric Nastacio, Hopi cottonwood, pigment 17.25" high x 8" wide x 3" deep
The Shalako, who are believed to have first arrived at Zuni around 1840, retrace the wanderings of the Zunis from the center earth to the modern pueblo. The Shalako are the God's messengers and run back and forth all year long carrying messages, as well as bringing moisture and rain when needed. When they leave, they also carry the Zunis' prayers for rain with them.
The Shalako Ceremony is performed in late November or early December and takes place after the crops are in. This ceremony is the most important event of the year for the Zuni Indians of New Mexico. Because the Shalako are messengers to the gods, their departure at the ceremony is the final prayer for rain to fill the rivers, wells and springs before summer comes.
This carving of Shalako Mana is unique in that the artist has carved an intricate depicting the Hopi Pueblo, a ceremonial Kiva, and Golden Eagle, a spiritual messenger.