‘Keeping Traditions Alive’ winning logo artist Alex Pena

Photo Credit: Courtesy | Alex Pena

In order to capture what I was feeling and wanting to express I used a pen to represent the forever presence that our ancestors will have on the land around us.

I chose to draw a very symbolic landmark where, in the past, was used for communication, ceremonies, and living. Overlooking prime hunting grounds as well as hundreds of miles in either direction, Chimney Rock, to me, displays a bold, very powerful energy that not only did the people of our past utilize, but still hundreds of people gravitate to this place every single year.

I tried to put myself into the viewpoint of a hunting party that has put camp in one of the great meadows where all of the game gravitates toward. Being a hunter myself I know the amount of work it takes to not only harvest an animal, but also the rewarding part after the hard work of packing an animal out of some difficult terrain. Before processing the kill, saying a prayer and giving thanks to the animal and our creator for allowing us to feed our families. Taking a life to continue living ours, gives me great pride for the privilege I have. Piece by piece, carefully keeping the meat clean and trying to avoid the insects who also want to take advantage of the success. The smell of a nice fire and fresh meal as the last hunter rides in from the rewarding adventure.

A look back into the past and thinking about standing where one of our people had probably once stood before, makes me appreciate the land and try to do my part to help preserve as much as we can from the past.

Keeping traditions alive and passing them down to younger generations is very important in order for our people’s stories to be kept alive and strong. Rather than trying to start new and different ways to do things, I think it is important to do most of what we do as our people of the past has done for hundreds of years prior. Remember where everything originated from and bring it back to life! Make it just as strong as it was when the tribes ran free, surviving, thriving, and establishing great roots!


Alex Pena

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