This painting was the first painting 2016 Rollin and Mary Ella King Fellow Lomayumtewa Ishii created during his SAR fellowship. Nu’uniunangwatá is imbued with significant Hopi symbolism, with the two main figures being the sun (Tawa), and the water serpent. According to Lomayumtewa, who spent a lot of time thinking about his people while creating this piece, “these two figures strongly represent our traditions, religion, and ceremony” and reminds viewers of the importance of protecting Hopi lifeways and traditions.
For example, the San Francisco peaks (Nuva’tukya’ovi) are nestled within the water serpent, who protects them. In addition, references to water, prayer, friendship, and agriculture imbue this painting making it a particularly powerful image.
A member of the Rabbit-Tobacco clan, Lomayumtewa Ishii comes from a traditional Hopi family, observing ceremonies, learning the history, songs, kachina dancing, and the symbols and designs of the Hopi World. As a young man, he is expected to begin his obligations to the clan and tribe. His art is a reflection of this stage of his life, both as a Hopi and a twenty-first century Native American.
Nu’uniunangwatá (To Love, to be passionate), 2016. Acrylic on paper, 23.5” x 9”