Ayudantes Animales del Sudoeste
Un Guía Para Viajeros Jóvenes
Animal Helpers of the Southwest
A Guide For Young Travelers
This handprinted book in Spanish and English text offers the viewer a series of allies in the ever more threatening passage across the desert regions of the US Mexico border. Ayudantes Animales del Sudoeste - Un Guía Para Viajeros Jóvenes, Animal Helpers of the Southwest - A Guide For Young Travelers is a book inspired both by the struggles of people as they are driven to take dangerous risks in this harsh environment, and also by the native cultures of the Southwest.
I have lived on the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico off and on for several years. The tradition there of small carved animal figures, called fetishes, carry with them a suggestion of protective animal spirits. The animals were not drawn from photos or direct observation. It was my intention to visualize the animal I could see in my mind, that I could see in dreams. Like the animal fetishes these animal helpers offer their specific aid. The Desert Tortoise provides water, the Kangaroo Rat night vision. As surveillance and the border wall grow out from more populous areas it drives migrants to cross in ever more dangerous places. The heat tolerance of a Rattlesnake and the guidance of a Coyote are needed.
For all the young travelers now seeking to reach family or escape other dangers at home I offer this fetish object - a book of twelve animals in woodcut with screenprinted text and borders.