SRPMIC Artist Dwayne Manuel Celebrates O’odham Resilience with New Design

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Inspired and motivated by the history of the O’odham, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member artist Dwayne Manuel’s latest T-shirt design celebrates the O’odham’s resilience and continued success in navigating the modern world.

The design is titled “Walk With Heart.” Manuel said the name is derived from the O’odham word Himdag, which is commonly used to describe “culture.”

“But in actuality, when you break down the word Himdag into its root words, you have him, which means walk, and dag, which comes from our word for heart, ibdag,” said Manuel. “So, this translates to ‘walking with heart’ or ‘heartfelt walk.’”

Manuel said that the artwork also represents how the O’odham helped establish the Valley and the city of Phoenix.

“If it wasn’t for the O’odham, the city of Phoenix never would have flapped her wings,” said Manuel.

The T-shirts were given out at the Round House Café at Two Waters on November 8 in a collaboration with the Discover Salt River tourism team.

Manuel said that he was approached by Discover Salt River during the summer about the idea for the T-shirt. After some discussion, it was decided that the shirt would be given out during November, which is National Native American Heritage Month.

According to Manuel, Two Waters is the “downtown” of Salt River, and he felt that the tourism team chose the best place.

“Celebrating SRPMIC artists is what our tourism team loves to do!” said Discover Salt River Tourism Supervisor Jessica Sepulveda.

Discover Salt River has worked with Manuel on past projects, including featured art installations at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Discover Salt River Visitor Center and other locations throughout the Talking Stick Entertainment District.

“Dwayne is an amazing artist, and we wanted to share his artwork with everyone. So as our team was planning our new fiscal year, we knew we wanted to partner with him on a design that shares the story of the Community and our people,” said Sepulveda.

The collaboration with Manuel also brings awareness to the upcoming anticipated launch of the revamped Salt River Art Trail.

For those who were unable to receive a T-shirt, when the Salt River Art Trail officially launches as a “gamified pass,” you can show support and sign up to access the pass. Guests can visit a variety of SRPMIC artwork throughout the Community and check in at each artwork location to collect points. Those points can be redeemed for prizes, including the exclusive T-shirt.

For more information regarding the Salt River Art Trail, visit www.discoversaltriver.com/art-trail/.

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