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Open Access Publications from the University of California

La Cultura Vive: The Culture Lives

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

Through aerosol fumes of color and clouds of pigment, Dwayne Manuel and his graffiti crew Neoglyphix are exploring indigenous identity in the twenty-first century and, in Manuel’s case, transforming O’odham tradition into the aesthetics and sounds of modern times: graffiti and hip hop. The indigenous aerosol collective’s name reflects the marriage of old traditions and new techniques: "Neo” means new, while “glyphix” refers the prehistoric art form of petroglyphs, created by etching images into stone. “We’re doing this artistic expression, but we're using even the can—the modern can—to do it,” said Manuel. “We are a graffiti crew because we wanted to return to painting on the walls like we have always been doing it. Our ancestors would paint on stones. Paint on the wall.”

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