Acrylic on Canvas, 2010, 60" x 48"
I painted this piece as a conscious act of revitalization and mourning. "Mourning 1932" depicts a traditional Pipil ceremony in which mothers who lost their child at childbirth would place their milk nourishment in the earth. This piece is an act of collective mourning for the Massacre of 1932 in which 30,000 Pipil where systematically murdered by the military in one of the largest known holocausts perpetrated by Government Generals and the Coffee Oligarchy's private police in El Salvador to do away with Natives and take ownership of Indigenous communal lands. The field of flowers make reference to the more than 30,000 Native Nahuat-Pipil who were massacred. The Cempalxochitl, or marigold, is traditionally used as offering to those who have crossed to the spirit world in most of Mesoamerica. The aroma is said to aid and guide the spirit to Mictlan, the spirit world.
In the years following the holocaust of 1932 in El Salvador, there was little or no chance for mourning. The reasons for this was that the national guard that perpetrated the killings would hide the bodies in mass graves in lands that were militarized and guarded by them. Mass graves were located in properties controlled by the coffee oligarchy who perpetrated the repression, and the families of the victims could not access the mass graves because of harassment and repression by the hacienda guards.
The image of the men in the background is from a photograph taken in Sonsonate minutes before they were massacred by the Guardia Nacional in January of 1932. Sonsonate is one of the communities where the government launched its campaign of searching all who where "darker" skinned and where thus suspected of being communists and shooting them after a short interrogation.
The man in the left is Nahuat-Pipil leader Feliciano Ama who was publicly executed by hanging. The experience of holocaust and trauma that the painting portrays is an experience common among Natives throughout the continent. It is well known today that El Salvador's military and government officials would reference the Native holocaust of the American expansionists and their genocidal tactics, such as public hanging, intimidation and infiltrations. With this painting, I hope to weave this painful past into the present maintaining the memory of those who passed and those who survived.
Red Earth Rising, Return to the Origin: Alicia Siu Solo Show, with special guest speaker: Steven Newcomb, Author of Pagans in the Promised Land, Decoding the Doctrine of Discovery. San Diego CA 2017
Red Earth Risisn, Return to the Origin: Alicia Siu Solo Show
Indigenous Flux Group Exhibition, Hayward CA
The Bones of Our Ancestors, Endurance and Survival Beyond Serra's Missions, Curated by Celia Herrera and Theresa Harlan, Berkeley CA