The Butterfly Dance

The Story

The book tells the story of Sihumana, a young female rabbit who takes part for the first time in a social ceremony and dance called the Butterfly Dance. We follow her journey as she prepares and performs in the ceremony and we learn from her family why its important and how everyone helps and supports her.



Dawavendewa was inspired by the real Hopi ceremony also know as the Butterfly Dance. This social ceremony is held at the end of summer and celebrates the ongoing life brought to the desert through rain, moisture, plants and animals. Gerald depicted animals as part of his story as many older traditional Hopi stories often had animals as the main characters performing tales that amused or taught Hopi children an important life lesson.


The Book

Published by Abbeville Press in association with the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. The book is hardcover with 32 pages, 28 full color illustrations and includes information on the Hopi culture and the traditional Butterfly dance that the Hopi people still perform every year.