Adelita (la soldadera) stands tall, gazing forward, carrying a young child in a traditional indigenous sling. On her thigh rests a Carabina 30/30— (Winchester 30/30) decorated with a rose and two hummingbirds; both powerful Yoeme (Yaqui) symbols. She is dressed plainly, in a Tehuana style skirt. She shows signs of struggle but is poised and undeterred. She is the enduring Woman Warrior Spirit personified, the unsung strength of the world.
The girl child Adelita carries represents a new generation of life. She could be the child of Adelita, or a rescued child separated from her own natural mother. She sleeps peacefully.
- Blood on the ground: Mexico’s bloody history and ongoing struggles.
- Aztec calendar motif: embodies sun & earth deities Tonatiuh & Tlaltecuhtli – both related to sacrificial blood.
- Border Fence: symbol for all that is ridiculous.
- Skeletons: ancestors, perished migrants.
- Rattlesnake: Animal guardian, powerful transformative medicine. Also connected to the Aztec serpent goddess, Coatilcue, and Cihuateteo; one who guards the spirits of women who died in childbirth.
- Prickly pear cactus: (in this case opuntia var. Santa Rita) Food & sustenance for desert survivors.
- Mourning Dove w/creosote bush sprig: Desert peace symbol.
- Banner: In English: “If you want peace, work for justice.” --Pope Paul VI
- River: Santa Cruz River; without which human settlement in this far corner of the Sonoran desert would not have been possible.
- La Virgen de Guadalupe: Our Holy Blessed Mother and Empress of the Americas, sprung from the ancient Aztec mother goddess Tonanztin. Some believe that she holds the spiritual blueprint of the U.S. Southwest.