The Runaway

This mural depicts a single figure participating in a northern Pueblo Deer Dance, an important winter dance in Pueblo life. Traditionally performed by men, the deer dancers carry short sticks, simulating the forelegs of the deer. After the last dance of the day, the deer attempt to run away, while the hunters from the community pursue them. When a deer dancer is caught, his captor takes him home and offers prayers and reverence. This is similar to what happens when a hunter returns to the Pueblo with a deer. The Runaway wears a green and yellow headdress with feather-tipped deer antlers . The dancer shows explosive motion and emotional expression.

The Artist

Thomas Edward Montoya (1952–2009), Than Ts'áy Tas, was a member Ohkay Owingeh (formally known as San Juan Pueblo). Tommy received a degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and did graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to painting, he has worked as a graphic designer, freelance illustrator, photographer, and for four years as a technical illustrator for Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has published a children's book, and has won awards for his artwork at Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) Indian Market in Santa Fe. Tommy also has a series of Pueblo Revolt sketches displayed in the IPCC permanent museum exhibition, We Are of This Place: The Pueblo Story.  

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