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The great legacy of “La Morena”: the indigenous artist author of the art of Super Bowl LVII used the bullying of her childhood in her favor

PHOENIX – When she was a girl, Lucinda Hinojos was the subject of bullying. “They made fun of the color of my skin. They called me morena or morenita, but not in a friendly way”says the woman from the Phoenix area who in this Super Bowl LVII is the ambassador of the minorities of the region: indigenous, Chicanos and Latinos.

Over the years, when she had taken up painting and was looking for a stage name, Lucinda used those taunts in a positive way. Being with a friend and with burned skin from working days under the Yuma sun, they had the idea: “La Morena, that’s the name.”

“Now I actually like that name, because be brown It’s beautiful,” says Hinojos, referring to his Chicano and indigenous heritage.. He even has that name, “La Morena”, tattooed on his neck.

Lucinda Hinojos has been perhaps the most prominent local figure -or at least the most significant- around the Super Bowl for being the author of the institutional art of this event, including the tickets for the game between Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefssomething unprecedented according to the league.

And this Sunday, the tickets with her work on the paper will be in her own hands, as Lucinda has four tickets to be at the game with her children.

The Super Bowl ticket features the Vince Lombardi trophy, with an Aztec dancer on the left, a Fancy Shawl dancer on the right, and the iconic saguaros that are typical of the mountains in the Glendale area, where the game will be played, all set against a traditional landscape of the Arizona desert, as well as including a hummingbird characteristic of the art of “La Morena”.

The Super Bowl ticket includes Azteca and Fancy Shawl dancers. /Courtesy NFL

“I know that all of this is a goal bigger than me and it was no coincidence that I was chosen by the NFL because of the way I fill the spaces,” Hinojos explains about her participation. “I told the NFL in one of the first meetings we had that when I come to work on projects like this I never walk alone; my ancestors are with meI walk with my community and bring it with me”.

The legacy of “La Morena” will in fact be embodied for a long time in the city of Phoenix, by the gigantic and dazzling mural of her creation on a wall of the Monarch Theater in the heart of the city. The work, which is a tribute to indigenous heritage with the 22 tribes of the state represented, was made in 21 days, but the artist emphasizes that it would not have been possible without the help of an entire team, including her son Nathaniel, 20 years.

“From videographers and photographers to the assistants and artists I work with on the mural, we are all indigenous and it is as if we were sowing the seeds and opening the way for future generations of little brunettes”, he says proudly. “Because when I was little I only saw blonde hair and blue eyes on TV, in magazines, and I didn’t see brunettes on TV or on the walls… Just being here is radical, painting this mural is radical and it’s a celebration.”

The celebration is here and it will remain as a legacy signed by “La Morena”.

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