Hailing from the Santo Domingo Reservation, Ricardo Cate’, has become a Native cartoonist and artist known worldwide. Cate’ says he got his sense of humor from his dad, uncles and brothers and started drawing cartoons in the seventh grade.
Today Cate’s cartoons are all over the internet and featured in publications all over the world. He has made several trips to Standing Rock in 2016, which influenced his most recent works, some of which are now on display at the Vida Loca Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
You can find Cate’ on Facebook, where he posts new drawings and cartoons and some of his adventures.
One time as Cate’ was hustling and carrying his paintings around and sat down to take a break. As a passing tourist stopped and gave him money. He he asked on his Facebook page, “Gee, should I change my look?” which prompted several replies from friends and clients. Another day in the life of a famous cartoonist.
Here are a selection of funny cartoons by Ricardo Cate’.
“The Rape of Mother Earth”, adults may not have been paying attention but children have and they know it’s about clean water and saving Mother Earth for their generation’s future. A Facebook post making the rounds had a young student who was told to “dress up like an Indian” for his Thanksgiving assignment and went to school dressed as a #NoDAPL water protector.
“DA-Police are brutal”, yes it is hard to make fun of people getting hurt, but Indian humor gets to the point with a chuckle and a nod of recognition.
"Aggressors and Victims" Taking into consideration the media coverage of Standing Rock, this cartoon seems only appropriate.
“D Fence”, Cate' made several football and baseball cartoons, because as Americans were watching football and the World Series with Indian mascots on TV, the world was watching what was happening with #NoDAPL at Standing Rock over social media
“The First Thanksgiving, Let Us Pray”, while Americans sat down for their traditional Thanksgiving dinner, some people gave history lessons about the Thanksgiving myth and some Indians were getting pepper-sprayed.
“Child with Feather”, a signature piece, cards and prints have been made, the image repeated and shared many times over social media.
“NODAPL, Look Grandpa, the geese are flying south for the winter.” A very Indian image, making a great point and involving nature on our side in a sly manner. This is the exhibit image at Vida Loca Gallery in Santa Fe where his show will be up until Jan 5, 2017.
“NODAPL”, the references and internet memes about Standing Rock, #NoDAPL and the movie “Avatar” have been ongoing for months on social media since the Water Protectors started their prayerful resistance.
“Nice Ruins, No It’s My House”, living on the Rez or the Pueblo, you get folks wandering around, trying to buy your “relics” that turn out to be your lawn furniture, lawn decorations or maybe junk on its way to the dump. Sometimes they will wander inside your home too, thinking everything is on display.
“He Can Smell Fear”, the Chief and the General are the most popular characters and their relationship fluctuates between enmity and affection.
“Indian Land, U.S. Land” the sand in the hourglass is again a very low key approach by Ricardo to complex issues in our shared American history all in one simple image.
“United Nations”, one of the most spectacular and strengthening images at Standing Rock are the hundreds of flags representing Native Nations, Indigenous peoples and non-Native political allies, all standing in solidarity.
“Trumpty Dumpty... Built a Huuuge Wall”, this painting caused a little controversy but Ricardo said he just wants to sell the painting and make more Trump paintings and cartoons. No doubt, a new, never ending source of material.
“Can You Hear Me Now”, cell and WiFi reception were a big problem at Standing Rock with deliberate interference by authorities but on the Rez it’s an everyday problem.
“Ricardo at the Frontlines” , taken from a photo as Ricardo approaches a police blockade.
Alex Jacobs is on Twitter, https://twitter.com/alexjacobs