Indian Maiden Feeding Deer by Tommy Montoya
This mural is a simple and dramatic expression of the Pueblo peoples' gratitude to the deer, traditionally an important element of their diet. However, we have an interesting reversal of the usual roles, for here we have the maiden feeding the deer, instead of the usual situation in which the deer would serve as food for the maiden. the maiden's basket contains the other all-important staple of Pueblo life, the revered corn. the figures, painted in black, white and earth tones, are highly stylized, and the whole effect is one of elegance and restraint.
Robert Montoya is a self-taught artist with ties to both Sandia and San Juan Pueblos. He was encouraged to paint by his artist-teacher mother and his father, a skilled carpenter. He has a degree in architecture from the University of New Mexico and a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Oklahoma. He is vice-president of Mimbres and Associates, an architectural and city-planning firm in Santa Fe. He has won a Best-of-Show award at the Santa Fe Indian Market.