In yet another momentous occasion in a year full of remarkable achievements, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe dedicated a new sculptural monument at their administrative headquarters on Sep. 19. The depiction of the Tribe’s most central ceremonial figure – the “Maaso” or “Deer Dancer” – has been in design for a number of years.
While images of the Deer Dancer are abundant throughout Mexico, the sculpture is one of only a handful of public sculptures depicting the iconic tribal symbol in the United States. Yaqui community members, Elders, students and traditional cultural participants collaborated on the special project.
The Tribe commissioned renowned sculptor Michael Lee as the lead artist to craft the public artwork. The nearly 500 lb. full-scale bronze sculpture – cast and finished by Tucson fine art studio Metalphysic Sculpture Studio, Inc. – stands 11 feet high on a pedestal created by another Tucson-based firm, Legacy Exhibits and Environments. Placing the sculpture to stand as a sentinel at tribal headquarters, the Yaqui hope to bless the spirit of the Tribe for the ages.
They can only hope that their exceptional year continues into the future. Earlier this year, Forbes Travel Guide awarded its prestigious Four Star Award to the Tribe’s Casino Del Sol – a first for a Tucson casino resort.
The highly regarded publication unveiled its 55th annual listing of Star Award-winning hospitality establishments worldwide, naming Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center to the distinguished list.
The Four Star Award represented the fruits of an expansion effort that began just a few short years ago. The Tribe began construction on the 215-room, 161,000-square-foot resort late in 2010 and completed it in time for a Nov. 11, 2011 grand opening. And with the Casino’s 18-hole, par 72-hole Notah Begay III designed championship golf course scheduled to join the impressive amenities in 2013, more honors are sure to follow.