Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Moqui Prayer for Rain

Artist:
Hermon Atkins MacNeil (American, Everett, Massachusetts 1866–1947 Queens, New York)
Date:
1895–96; cast ca. 1897
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
22 1/4 x 26 x 12 in. (56.5 x 66 x 30.5 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter C. Crawford, 1978
Accession Number:
1978.513.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
On his visit to northern Arizona in 1895, MacNeil witnessed the Moqui (Hopi) people’s annual prayer for rain at the top of the mesa at Oraibi. At the climax of the snake dance, participants in the ceremony ran down the trail from the mesa holding live serpents, returning them to the plain so that the tribe’s prayer would be answered. MacNeil’s statuette is a dynamic study of motion, from the swift rush of the forward-leaning figure to the writhing of the snakes coiled around his arms and even in his hair.
Signature: [right side of base]: H.A. MacNeil.S

Inscription: [front of base]: THE MOQVI/ Prayer. For. Rain. ; [left side of base]: THE RETVRNING OF THE SNAKES

Marking: [foundry mark, right side of base]: FOND. Nelli. ROMA.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter C. Crawford, until 1978
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