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Hilda con Abanico

Hilda con Abanico

Sumi Ink, metal leaf, and watercolor on paper, 17" X 22"

I gave Hilda a fan and painted her portrait from a photo I took of her.

Hilda Zulueta was an elegant, openhearted person who spent many hours with us over a period of years, explaining Arará traditions and taking us to sacred places where ancestors and deities are commemorated.  When we knew her, Hilda was one of the most important elders in the Arará community in Perico because she was the godmother of the drums.  She played an important role in the preservation and practice of rituals, and songs.  We are indebted to her because of her commitment to Arará, her generosity toward us, and her lighthearted friendship and humor.  Hilda will always be an inspiration and a role model for me, as she was for so many people in Perico.  The depth of her knowledge alone has given this project much of its strength.  We are grateful that we were able to gather her stories and perspectives before she joined her ancestors.