Graphic Witness: visual arts & social commentary
Graphic Witness home page

El Indio by Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes
a synopsis, with 11 illustrations by Diego Rivera

Chapter IV -- War (continued)

The villagers gather in the aftermath of the war. They know that two of the white men escaped the rock slide, and will seek to punish them for the death of the third white man. An old man speaks to the village:

A new cycle of suffering had begun, he explained, and they could survive it only if the whole tribe faced it together, just as they had punished the white man together. No one knew whose action had caused that rock to fall, and in the same way, the attack on the girl was an attack on the whole village, as was the injury to the young guide. Despite hostile neighboring tribes, they would abandon their village, as they had been forced to do in the past, and finally, for whoever fell into the hands of the whites, this order -- sealed lips. That was their strength!

The villagers agree to leave their rancheria.

That night the rancheria was emptied. The women went along the trails in the light of the full moon, carrying kitchen utensils in their arms and children on their backs. Behind them, the men led their sons by the hand, and brought along the fish nets, the machetes, and the blankets.