The mural, divided into four sections, suggests an overall picture of Pueblo life. Matachines, buffalo, and deer figures represent seasonal dancers who give thanks for life-sustaining corn and wild game. A turtle evokes the importance of water to the Pueblo people, and a parrot, whose feathers are greatly prized in Pueblo dances, reminds us of long-ago trade with the Aztecs. The huge drum symbolizes the music and songs of the dancers, and the great sun symbol presides over all.

The Artist

Francis Tafoya of Santa Clara Pueblo has painted since he was a sixth-grade student. He studied at the Institute of American Indian Art, and at Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico. He has taught art at Española High School, but at present is an educational planner at Santa Clara Pueblo, where he has created two murals for the Neighborhood Facility Council Chambers. He has exhibited at the Heard Museum, the New Mexico State Fair, and at the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts and Craft Show, where he won several awards.

© All murals are copyrighted, and cannot be used or duplicated without express permission from the copyright holders. You can purchase select mural images on stone magnets available exclusively through the Indian Pueblo Store. SHOP HERE