“Orale ese Vato”

As this paño humorously titled Orale ese vato (Spanish for roughly, right on, man) shows, one characteristic of Chicano art is that it avidly consumes and reconfigures both American and Mexican pop culture with its own slang, looks, and attitude. A paño is a hand-drawn handkerchief traditionally designed by Chicano prisoners. Like a letter that retells memories of both good and bad times, paños are often mailed as gifts to friends and loved ones. Valued as a vibrant popular art that overlaps with muralism, tattoo design, graffiti, and auto airbrushing, paños and their makers are receiving increased exposure for their visual storytelling abilities. An illustrator and a muralist known for depicting Chicano themes, Walter Baca (1947-1993) designed this paño in New Mexico in 1992.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Baca, Walter R.
Physical Description
cotton (overall material)
ink, pen (overall material)
overall: 42 cm x 41 cm; 16 9/16 in x 16 1/8 in
Place Made
United States: New Mexico, Albuquerque
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Popular Culture
Mickey Mouse
Cultures & Communities
Mexican America
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Mexican America
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Title (Spanish)
“Orale ese Vato”
Credit Line
Gift of Rudy Padilla

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