MATERIAL: Photography
TYPE: Photographs (loose)
DIMENSIONS: 5x7
CONDITION: In the notebook this photograph has been stored in this photo is documented as Photo: 11051 with related photos: 4312, 3993
ITEM ID: 3838

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Hopi Butterfly Dance

DATE
Year: 1912
Decade: 1910s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Hopi Butterfly Dance, showing two lines of male and female dancers, moving in opposite directions. Note elaborate wooden tabletas worn by female dancers on their heads, and the long banner suspended from a pole that is topped by a paper bell. In actual ceremonial dance, this pole would support a rattle with two erect eagle feathers and an embroidered kilt. Their substitution with more mundane objects here suggests that this performance is more social, rather than ceremonial. This is further indicated by the fact that there are two dance groups performing at the same time, and the group on the left is led by a man who is not wearing a kilt. Photographer’s notations: Dubligite (sic)Dance Butterfly 1912.Although he once served as Mayor of Las Vegas and spent many years as an Indian Agent (1911-1926), Harmon Percy Marble is probably best known for his extensive photographic documentation of Native Americans. As an Indian Agent, Marble was assigned to many reservations in the Plains and Southwest areas, where he recorded the clothing and customs of Navajo, Menominee, and Sioux Indians. From Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia: Harmon Percy Marble (born November 5, 1870 in Pawnee County, Nebraska – died 1945) was a mayor in Las Vegas and photographer of Native Americans.As a young adult, he worked for a number of years in the newspaper business, founding his own paper, the Humboldt Leader (probably Humboldt, Nebraska), in 1897. In 1911, he sold the paper in order to join the government Indian Service. He was first assigned to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, then in 1913 to the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, followed by work with the Sioux tribes at Fort Thompson, South Dakota. Later he was in charge of the Southern Pueblos in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and finally returned to Arizona. In 1926, he retired from the Indian Service and moved to Long Beach, California where he owned a cigar store. Later he joined family in Las Vegas, Nevada and lived out his remaining years there. He was a prominent civic leader and mayor of Las Vegas, and was instrumental in establishing the first low-income family housing development there, which was renamed Marble Manor in his honor after his death in 1945.PhotographerMarble is best known as a prolific photographer of Native Americans. During his government career, he took advantage of opportunities afforded by his positions to take hundreds of photographs of the Navajo, Menominee, and Sioux tribes. His photographs were inconsistently exposed, often poorly composed and poorly printed. However, this lack of artistic sense rendered photos which offer an unvarnished portraiture of the indigenous population more so than better known images captured by contemporaries the likes of Edward Curtis and Rodman Wanamaker.

ARTISTS
Name: Harmon Percy Marble