Carolyn Smith shares the photo of a previously unknown Lone Star Dietz painting with us, saying:
“I believe it is entitled “Me no Mexican” to show the problems of some Indians who were mistakenly identified as Mexicans and deported back to Mexico, despite their vehemence that they were not Mexican.
“My father was a Protestant missionary and head of religious activities at Haskell Institute for awhile after 15 years with the Indians in Nevada.
“I’ve always been fond of this painting because of the emotion in the Indian’s face. My granddaughter was always scared of the painting!”
Lone Star Dietz began coaching the Haskell Institute football team in 1929 and continued living there several years after he was no longer coaching them, likely into the mid-1930s. It was there, in Lawrence, Kansas, that Rev. Smith met Dietz. It was likely during this period that Dietz traveled to the southwestern states to paint local sites and people during his vacations.
The following is inscribed on the back of the painting, probably in Smith’s hand:
“When a Hopi was accused by his people of giving away Kiva secrets to white men, he left his reservation to find work with Mexican laborers. Later, finding himself rounded up with a group of Mexican wetbacks, in custody of the United States Immigration Service, he was in danger of being deported. It was then he broke his silence, crying out in broken English, ‘Me no Mexican.’
“This painting by Lone Star Dietz is an interpretation of the Hopi’s wounded spirit at the prospect of deportation.”