Between the Leopard and the Jaguar (XL, 2019)

Melanie Cervantes
30″ x 44″
9-layer print, 120#, Stonehenge fine art archival paper, Printed at Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer by Eddie Lampkin, Woodland, CA, 2019
Edition of 39

Between the Leopard and the Jaguar is a piece juxtaposing old and new representations of Xicana culture, using Mexica patterns representing the game Patolli (outlawed by the Spanish priests during the invasion of the continent) and a representation of a jaguar cuauhxicalli (a sacred vessel that acted as a birth channel for sacred forces like the sun) with the portrait of Jenny, a contemporary Mexica danzante and youth organizer. The portrait of Jenny was taken at a mobilization against a corporate bank who is profiting from warehousing people indigenous to this continent who are relegated as outside of or in violation of U.S. law. I attempt to draw a connection over the course of 900+ years with a thread of cultural and spiritual practices that have survived in spite of colonial invasion and oppression. This is a lineage of multitudes that are continually regenerated through dance, prayers, game play, symbols and stories.