I’ve walked by this mural–Tonantsin Renace (TonantsinReborn), by Colette Crutcher, at 16th and Sanchez–a thousand times easily; but, I never stopped to look at it. This reincarnation of an original piece, La Madre Tonantsin, was done in 1998, and I guess in a city where there’s such a strong culture of murals, a culture that started in the Mission and has spread to other neighborhoods, it’s easy to understand why I’d walk by such a beautiful piece of art without stopping to gasp in amazement.
Today when I walked by, I made a point to stop. I didn’t just stop. I lingered, and I studied every inch of this mural. But I have to admit, I don’t know what most of the symbols mean. I can only guess that it’s a spiritual piece: Tonantsin means Our Mother, and this goddess has the sun and the moon on either earlobe, like dangling hoop earrings. However, my lack of understanding didn’t take away from the power of the mural. This photo doesn’t do justice to its largesse.
If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend checking it out. And if you know more about this piece, please feel free to share in the comments.