By Omar Gonzalez
With Indigenous Peoples Day approaching this Monday, the San Marcos community has begun its preparations for this occasion. Including Ernesto Hernandez and Cindy Tobar, Texas-born muralists who are in the process of creating a mural at the San Marcos City Hall.
Hernandez and Tobar chose to dedicate this mural to the Coahuiltecan tribe, one of the earliest inhabitants of South Texas, including San Marcos. In order to fully channel the Coahuiltecan tribe and its beliefs with this mural, Hernandez decided to portray the five spirit animals of this tribe.
Hernandez cited Dr. Mario Garza, chair of the Indigenous Cultures Institute, when he said “Dr. Garza had told me this origin story on how these five animals, the Deer, the Jaguar, the Eagle, the Crane, and the Wolf, those are the five spirit animals for the Coahuiltecan people.”
Hernandez points out other significant symbols in the mural, each having their own meaning and purpose for this mural. All in hopes of painting a mural that shows the Coahuiltecan tribe’s full origin story and how they came to be. Hernandez and Tobar hope to fully complete the mural by the end of October after starting in early September.
The duo says that this mural project is more than just a tribute; it’s a means of connecting with the community, fostering conversations, and preserving the invaluable heritage of indigenous peoples. Hernandez and Tobar are on a mission to infuse their art with a deeper purpose, to ensure that it speaks to the hearts and minds of those who encounter it.
“I take great pride in working in that way, I just see myself as a tool. You know, I’m just like a brush. And I’m just filtering ideas and messages through elders to the community out back into the community,” said Hernandez.
By the end of this project, Hernandez hopes to get this mural into further places such as classrooms and more by converting the artwork into the world of AR, otherwise known as Augmented Reality.
Anyone who wishes to view this mural in progress can stop by the San Marcos City Hall and see the Coahuiltecan’s story of both art and heritage.
Written by: Danielle De Lucia