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About the pictograms…

The Casa Segura website galleries house pictograms that have been created using a custom interface embedded within the structure and also via a modified version on this website in the Create a Pictogram section. The interface enables anyone who encounters the structure, or website, to create an image and upload/save it for sharing with all who encounter this website.The Eyebeam Exhibition gallery houses pictograms that have been created by visitors to the show in New York City that included Casa Segura.

The icons in the interface were created in collaboration with Alberto Morackis and Guadalupe Serrano of Yonke Arte Público, Nogales, Mexico. They represent significant individuals, saints and symbols of Mexican history and popular culture. More information on the specific individuals follows below.

The bodies of the characters are constructed of icons from the popular Mexican game lotería.

Lotería is a Mexican game of chance, similar to Bingo, but using images on a deck of cards instead of plain numbers on ping pong balls. Every image has a name and an assigned number, but the number is usually ignored. Each player has at least one tabla, a board with a randomly created 4 x 4 grid of pictures with their corresponding name and number. Each player choose what tabla they want to play with, from a variety of previously created tablas. Each one presents a different selection of images. Read more on Wikipedia

The interface was created using Adobe Flash, BitmapExporter by Mario Klingemann and extensive custom scripting by Ryan Moran. If you would like to receive the .fla file, email us.


La Adelita was the title of one of the most famous corridos (folk songs) to come out of the Mexican Revolution. It is the story of a young woman in love with a Sergeant, who traveled with him and his regiment.

“La Adelita” came to be an archetype of a woman warrior in Mexico. Adelita was a soldadera, or woman soldier, who not only cooked and cared for the wounded but also actually fought in battles. In time the word adelita was used for all the soldaderas, who became a vital force in the war effort.

The term La Adelita has since come to signify a woman of strength and courage.

Read more on Wikipedia

La catrina:

Famous Jose Posada etching of the death, end of the 19 century. La Calavera de la Catrina is a 1913 zinc etching by the deceased printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. The image has since become a staple of Mexican imagery, and is often incorporated into artistic manifestations of the Day of the Dead such as altars and calavera costumes. It was part of his series of calaveras, which were humorous images of contemporary figures depicted as skeletons, often accompanied by a poem.

Read more on Wikipedia

Maria Félix:

María Félix was a Mexican actress, one of the leading figures of the golden era of the Cinema of Mexico. She was commonly known, particularly in her later years, by the honorific La Doña.

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Sara García:

Sara García (born Sara García Hidalgo September 8, 1895, Orizaba, Veracruz – November 21, 1980) was a legendary actress of more than 140 films of the cinema of Mexico most known for playing “granny” roles. She is also the mother of actress María Fernanda Ibáñez (1920–1940) as well as the image for Abuelita chocolate tablets.

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Frida Kahlo:

Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter who depicted the indigenous culture of her country in a style combining Realism, Symbolism and Surrealism. An active communist, she was married to Mexican muralist and cubist painter Diego Rivera. She was known for her self-portraits, often expressing her physical pain and suffering through symbolism.

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Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz:

Sor Juana (November 12, 1651 [or 1648, according to some biographers] – April 17, 1695), also known as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz or, in full, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana, was a self-taught Novohispano scholar, nun, poet, and a writer of the baroque school.

She came from a Catholic family in the small village of San Miguel de Nepantla, near Amecameca (modern-day México State). Christened Juana Inés Ramírez, she was a great lover of literature and learned Latin before she was ten. She was exceptional not only for her intelligence but also because she wrote literature centered on freedom.

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Olmeca Head:

The Olmec were an ancient Pre-Columbian people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, roughly in what are the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Their immediate cultural influence, however, extends beyond this region (Olmec artwork has been documented as far as El Salvador). The Olmec flourished during the Formative (or Preclassic) era, dating from 1200 BCE to about 400 BCE, and are believed to have been the progenitor civilization of later Mesoamerican civilizations.

Perhaps the best-recognized Olmec art are the enormous helmeted heads. As no known pre-Columbian text explains these, these impressive monuments have been the subject of much speculation. Given the individuality of each, these heads seem to be portraits of famous ball players or perhaps kings rigged out in the accoutrements of the game.

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Miguel Hidalgo:

Miguel Gregorio Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo y Costilla Gallaga Mondarte Villaseñor (May 8, 1753 – July 30, 1811), also known as Cura Hidalgo (“Priest Hidalgo”), was a Mexican priest and revolutionary rebel leader. He is regarded as the founder of the Mexican War of Independence movement; who fought for independence against Spain in the early 19th century. The state of Hidalgo in Mexico is named after him.

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Pedro Infante:

José Pedro Infante Cruz (November 18, 1917 – April 15, 1957), better known as Pedro Infante, is perhaps the most famous actor and singer of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and idol of the Mexican people, together with Jorge Negrete or Javier Solís. He was born on November 18, 1917 at Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico. He was raised as a child in Guamúchil. He died on April 15, 1957 at Mérida, Yucatán, during a flight that he piloted himself to Mexico City.

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Kalimán is the name of a Mexican comic book hero very famous across Latin America. He was created by Rafael Gutberto Navarro and Modesto Vázquez González. The Kalimán comic depicts the adventures of Kalimán and his young companion Solín, an Egyptian kid who is descended from Pharaohs. Kalimán had his own radio show since 1963, which featured adventures that took place on exotic sites. It is important to mention that the comic book was born due to the huge success of the radio show of the same name.

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El Santo:

Santo is the professional name of Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta (September 23, 1917 – February 5, 1984), more widely known as Santo, El Enmascarado de Plata (“Santo, the Silver-Masked Man” in English) who was a Mexican wrestler, film actor, and folk hero.

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Emiliano Zapata:

Emiliano Zapata Salazar (August 8, 1879–April 10, 1919) was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, which broke out in 1910, and which was initially directed against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. He formed and commanded an important revolutionary force, the Liberation Army of the South.

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