314 N. River Street
East Dundee, IL 60118
Arts of Native America
Just imagine: It is late in the 1600’s. A stranger on horseback enters a
desert village. Many people gather to see this man whose flowing dark
robe and large brimmed hat is so strange. The people greet the stranger
and welcome him to their village. These people are the Tohono
O'odham and the village is Wa:k. The stranger is a Jesuit priest, Father
Euseibo Kino, who would go on to establish a mission among the peo-
Following Kino’s death in 1711, the Franciscan Fathers assumed the
administration of the old mission site, and years later began to build a
new mission building.
In 1783, Franciscan missionary Fr. Juan Bautista Velderrain borrowed
funds from a nearby rancher, and began construction of the
White Dove of
using a large workforce of O’odham people. Fourteen years
later the majestic mission church was complete.
The vast size of the white mission against a cobalt blue sky is a striking
site, as are the elaborate murals found inside the mission building.
Today, the Tohono O’odham people have deep roots with the mission,
and at the same time continue to practice their "himdage" which means
"way of life". Many traditions and beliefs of the O'odham elders continue
to be handed down from one generation to another.
San Xavier Del Bac is just nine miles south of Tucson. When you visit
you will understand why this is one of our very favorite places.
1672 - 1711