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A 1983 Cinco de Mayo poster provides some insight into Pelia’s current style and symbolism. Here, two Mestizo figures one with a flute, the other with a guitar form the principal image. The Mestizo with the flute symbolizes the Indian past. His musical instrument is decorated with feathers, while his cloak bears traditional Indian designs. His partner on the right, however, is featured with a guitar, a symbol of Mexican Mestizo culture, and wears a cloak with a design from Mexican serapes commonly found in Pefia’s border hometown. Many of the border artists involved with the movimiento, such as Pena, remain com mitted to the idea that Chicanos, Mexicanos, or Mexican Americans, can effect political change. Pefia’s ties to the movimiento remain strong. Despite his heavy exhibition sched ule, Amado manages to keep close to the causes dear to him: the farm workers’ struggle, the battered women’s center, and the parks and recreation program in the barrio. Today, however, Pena does not strive to be the spokesperson for any movement, but prefers instead to be a creator of beauty, of something that can give respect to the uni versal attributes of people and their p work. \(TARl ill ‘IPN “Best Lodging Location for Fishermen & Beachgoers” Group Discounts P.O. Box 8 Port Aransas, TX 78373 Send for Free Gulf & Bay Fishing Information BY RODOLFO F. ACILIAA DUEL OF EAGLES By Jeff Long William Morrow Co. 1990 , 431 pages, $22.95 DUEL OF EAGLES is a welcome relief from the manipulated information served up as history and currently available to the public. It challenges the popular interpretation that the United States was forged by just and honorable means, by good men planting the standard of democracy for less fortunate races. Counter-hegemonic works such as Duel of Eagles are important in a decade in which the values of our young adults have been shaped by national leaders with few moral scruples all in collaboration with a print and electronic media that have become the propaganda arm of government. Duel of Eagles is narrative history at its best. It is a fascinating story of EuroAmerican arrogance, attacking the chauvinist foundations of western history that distort the story Rodolfo F. Acuna is Professor of Chicano Studies at California State University Northridge. His specialty is Mexico’s northern frontier, which includes what is known as the American Southwest. It destroys the myth that the EuroAmerican filibusters were freedom-loving settlers, who wanted liberty. In fact, many of them were characters right out of the movie, “Deliverance,” who were repugnant to Mexicans for “their [the Anglos’s] appalling use of chattel slaves, their arrogance, and their immorality. In Nachogdoches they [the Mexicans] were horrified to find a number of Anglo-Americans selling their wives for sex to Mexican Mexico was far from despotic, according to Long, who notes that from 1832-1835, there was no Mexican authority east of Bexar: “For three full years they [EuroAmericans] wallowed in freedom like hogs in mud. They thought it would go on forever.” Of the leaders of the Texas Revolt, Long says, “The War Dogs posed as high priests of liberty, but year after year they acted like clowns and bullies.” Even the Texan icon, Stephen Austin, and his mythical love for Mexicans are not spared: “Like most of the Anglo-Americans reaching Texas, Austin despised Mexicans.” Duel of Eagles goes beyond Walter Lord’s classic account of the epic Battle of the Alamo, which according to Long had no strategic value. Sam Houston himself had ordered the Alamo dismantled. It became a graveyard because of egomaniacs like William Travis and Jim Bowie. Long’s Bowie is a wheeler and dealer, an opportunist, and an adventurer who was a slave trader by profession and genetic disposition. He married Ursula Veramendi, daughter of Governor Juan Martin de Veramendi then lied to and swindled both the Veramendi family and the government that adopted him. In the process Bowie amassed some 750,000 acres. Contrary to popular lore, Bowie’s legendary drunkenness can’t be blamed on the death of his wife and children. The Bowies had no children, and it questionable whether Bowie was the devoted husband described in Texas legend. Neither was Bowie the diehard patriot of Texas history. He was not exactly ready to fight to the death; it was Bowie who opened unsuccessful negotiations with Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna after Travis launched the first cannon attack. It can’t be ruled out that Mexicans killed Bowie, who was sick throughout the siege of the Alamo, while he cowered under his cot. Travis had few redeeming qualities. Hardly the gentleman soldier portrayed in the movies, he was an egomaniac who had little experience at commanding men, and less respect from them. Considering himself a stud, he kept a running log of his sexual conquests. Alamo Memories ERA’S ART is about a small western universe in the border region of North America. He has long been a student of Southwestern life and we see in his creative work a magnificent blending of culture and history. He understands that they are the survivors of frontier wars, floods, dust storms, and economic hard times and he is fascinated by their endurance. In documenting their lives, he captures the essence of their existence. He makes no claim to representing people of this magisterial land. Amado Petia’s art is simply about a dignified people who have much to teach us about survival in an ever-changing world. 14 MARCH 22, 1991