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San Ildefonso Sun Dance Participants by José Encarnacion Peña [SOLD]


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José Encarnacion Peña (1902-1979) Soqween - So Kwa A Weh (Frost on the Mountain) - Enky
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: opaque watercolor
  • Size:
    12-1/2” x 19” image;
    20-3/8” x 26-7/8” framed
  • Item # C3928L
  • SOLD


Jose Encarnacio Pena- Original Portrait - copyright Adobe Gallery.T. Harmon Parkhurst photographed a San Ildefonso Sun Dance in the early 1920s, an indication that this dance has continued for at least 100 years and quite probably for longer. Although we have found no published description of the Sun Dance, we know it, like other dance ceremonials are dramatizations of religious myths.  What one sees in the plaza as a dance ceremony is usually the last day of many days of ritual, unseen by the public, and fasting of the men in the kiva.

Non-participants can enjoy the dance without fully understanding the meaning behind the celebration, yet understanding that there is a purpose to every step, every song, every drum beat and every item of clothing, rattles, evergreen boughs.

It is encumbered on witnesses to view the dance with an open mind, accepting that it may be a different interpretation of a religious ceremony than one is familiar with.  It is a remarkable artistic as well as a religious performance, with sometimes hundreds of participants operating in a coordinated fashion, as beautiful as a choreographed ballet or dance performance.  It is a privilege to witness a pueblo dance ceremony.


Condition: this painting of San Ildefonso Sun Dance Participants by José Encarnacion Peña appears to be in original condition

Provenance: from the estate of a former client from New York

Recommended Reading: Handbook of Indian Dances, Museum of New Mexico, 1952

Jose Encarnacio Pena- Original Portrait - copyright Adobe Gallery.

Close up view of this painting.