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Paintings by Anita Endrezze

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Path of the Red Deer II

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The Following Three Paintings Were Inspired by a Trip to Mexico

I recently made a pilgrimage. Thanks to Artist Trust, an arts organization in Washington State, I was able to travel to Sonora, Mexico. The grant covered my costs and I traveled lightly, eating one big meal a day (shrimp or fish soup with lobster fresh from the sea), walking with my day pack along the highways, flagging down buses. I hiked along miles of white sandy beaches, rode a horse into the desert, and entered the warren of small shops in the old shopping district of Guaymas. Everywhere, I looked for faces I would recognize. Faces of people who might look like relatives. And I found them, on street corners selling oranges, riding the buses, driving taxis. In my broken Spanish, I told everyone I spoke to that my grandparents came from here, that I was a Yaqui. And they all smiled, welcoming me. We talked about the ancient red mountains, the turquoise sea, the fields of strawberries. I saw the Bacatete Mountains, where my great-grandfather died. I saw Bacum. I saw Vicam. I saw the Rio Yaqui as it flowed toward the sea through fields of maize. On its banks was a restaurant called the Rio Yaqui selling Tecate beer and seafood. . . .

I took lots of photos. Once home I began painting: interpreting vision and symbol and reality. . . . My trip to our tribal homeland was a journey to the heart.

from Throwing Fire and the Sun, Water at the Moon (Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 2000). Copyright 2000 by Anita Endrezee.

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Waiting for the Bus to Guaymas (acrylic, 1998). In the background is Mount Tetakawi, or Stone Mountain in Yaqui. Closer, you can see the Yori Trailer Park ("white man's" trailer park), which was closed for business. My shadow is a deer.


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On the Bus to Guaymas (acrylic, 1998). Look for the hidden deer. My friend, Lynette Copeland, who traveled with me, is getting on the bus behind the pelican.


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Moon of a Different Color
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"Tenku Ania"




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