October 13, 2008

Two eras of people fleeing

Iconic sign evokes connection to Long WalkThe yellow signs have ... become popular with people on both sides of the contentious issue. It made the cover of The Economist. Replicas adorn T-shirts and political statements. There is even a copy of the sign displayed at the Smithsonian. It has become the symbol for illegal immigration.

But Hood’s sketch was partly inspired by another migration--a forced one. Hood, made a connection between the plight of illegal immigrants and his ancestors that were caught between Kit Carson’s soldiers and the Navajos’ determination to remain in their homes in the 1860s.

“[In the] stories from my tribe there is a history of my tribe being rounded up like cattle, and I have heard stories of people running away from soldiers and things like that.

“So, a lot of them died along the away. Some of that came to mind, imagining some of those things. It’s something deep within the mind, soul and the heart that comes to life and you have this awareness,” said Hood, who still calls the Navajo reservation in northeastern New Mexico home despite living in San Diego for nearly 30 years.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Navajo Made Famous Road Sign.

Below:  Navajos fleeing from soldiers during the Long Walk?


dmarks said...

It might not be the best idea to equate people choosing to migrate to seek a better life with "Trail of Tears"-style death-marches

Rob said...

Well, artist Hood made the connection, not me. As he sees it, the common theme is people fleeing from US authorities. Victimized people, that is, who have done nothing to justify their being hunted down like animals.