Santa Ana

Ruben Olguin, Mestizo / American, born 1983



Wood, wire lathe, adobe, hand-foraged clay, reclaimed tin, leather

Overall: 14 15/16 × 11 3/16 × 1 7/8 in. (38 × 28.4 × 4.7 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Acquisitions and Preservation of Native American Art Fund



Place Made: United States, North America


21st century

Object Name

Mixed Media

Research Area

Native American

Native American: Southwest

Mixed Media

On view


Inscribed, upper right, in black marker: Santa Ana


Using locally sourced clay and hand-harvested dyes, artist Ruben Olguin reappropriates the Spanish colonial tradition of retablo paintings, which traditionally depict devotional images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. Rather than creating devotional images, Olguin maps the establishment of Spanish mission churches atop Indigenous territories and waterways. The practice of renaming Indigenous towns after Catholic saints underscores this Indigenous dispossession. Olguin’s Retablos reveal the entanglements of the Catholic church in what is now the southwestern United States while also presenting a restorative mapping practice.

From the 2024 exhibition [Un]Mapping: Decolonial Cartographies of Place, curated by Beatriz Yanes Martinez, Hood Museum Board of Advisors Mutual Learning Fellow, Curatorial and Exhibitions

Course History

ANTH 11/NAS 11, Ancient Native Americans, Madeleine McLeester, Fall 2020

PORT 8, Brazilian Portraits, Carlos Cortez Minchillo, Winter 2021

LACS 22.11, Latinx Intergenerational Literature, Marcela di Blasi, Spring 2021

ANTH 18, Research Methods in Anthropology, Chelsey Kivland, Summer 2021

ANTH 55, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Spring 2021

ANTH 3.01, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Winter 2022

Anthropology 73.01, Main Currents in Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Spring 2024

Exhibition History

[Un]Mapping: Decolonial Cartographies of Place, Harteveldt Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 8 -November 3, 2024.

Form and Relation: Contemporary Native American Ceramics, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 9-November 29, 2020.


The artist, Ruben Olguin, Albuquerque, New Mexico; sold to present collection, 2020.

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