"THE ANOINTING OF MISS HOPI"
These snake handlers are inspired by figures from classical and Renaissance masterpieces. The central figure "Miss Hopi", a reference to the snake handling ceremonies of the Hopi Indian culture, was derived from Titian's "Ascension of the Virgin".
The reference to the Hopi culture snake dance is reinforced by the pattern on "Miss Hopi's" dress and by the snake hanging from her mouth. The surrounding serpent handlers were appropriated from Caravaggio's "Madonna of the Rosary" and Titian's "The Pentecost". Emerging from the upper right hand corner a ghostly apparition meant to be a portrait of George Wesley Hensly, the founder of the snake handling movement in Southern Appalachia.