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The Shalako

Gustave Baumann, The Shalako, 1923, oil on board with hand carved wooden frame, 37 5/8 × 61 5/8 × 1 1/2 in. Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Gift of Jane Baumann, 1976 (3409.23P) Photo by Blair Clark © New Mexico Museum of Art

The Shalako

Artist: Gustave Baumann (American, born Germany, 1881 - 1971)
Date: 1923
Medium: oil on board with hand carved wooden frame
Dimensions:
Image: 35 1/4 × 59 1/2 in. (89.5 × 151.1 cm)
Frame: 37 5/8 × 61 5/8 × 1 1/2 in. (95.6 × 156.5 × 3.8 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Jane Baumann, 1976
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 3409.23P
Description
The Shalako is a series of Zuni dances and ceremonies which takes place as close as possible to both the full moon and the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, signaling the beginning of the year for the Zunis. The Zuni word ‘Shalako’ refers to several distinct things: the ceremony; the costumed figures of the dance; and the spirits they personify. Leaving the old behind, the Shalako dance asks for blessings in the new year. When Gustave Baumann came to the Southwest, he became interested in Native art and ceremonies, often including dances and other such events into his paintings and prints. He most often drew his compositions for ceremonial subject matter from life sketches he made in person at Pueblo dances.
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