An animated short film by reid perkins-buzo o.p.

Maria and Moon

This 7 minute animated short is based on a story “The Tortilla Moon” which takes place in Mexico in the last few years of the nineteenth century.   From the early 1880s onward, the Mexican government fought an on again - off again war with the Yaqui Indian people who lived in the state of Sonora (northwestern part of Mexico).  The wars finally ended with the deportation of the majority of the Yaqui away from Sonora to the Yucatán in the 1890s. The story tells of the revelation of the Spirit of the Moon to a little Yaqui girl, María Sewa (Xochitli in Nauhatl, flor in Spanish, flower in English).  See the copy of the story at the link above.

This project has a link to personal history for me.  My grandfather was half native American (Yaqui)and half Mexican, which has always motivated my interest in the Yaqui (Yoeme) people, their history and their legends.  This is the first short story I’ve written based on this material.

The visual style is very soft and two dimensional, although was modeled and animated using Maya, SoftImage and Lightwave. Compositing was done in Shake, After Effects, and Combustion.

Production Notes


Hu-DeHart, Evelyn. “Yaqui Resistance to Mexican Expansion.” The Indian in Latin American history : resistance, resilience, and acculturation.  John Kicza, ed. Revised edition. Wilmington, De: Scholarly Resources, 1999. pp. 213-241.

Kelley, Jane Holden. Yaqui women : contemporary life histories. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978.

Giddings, Ruth Warner. Yaqui myths and legends. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1959. University of Arizona Anthropological papers, no. 2.

Ozuna, Francisco. “Dedication to a Mountain.” © 2000 School of Native American Medicine Website.

Wilder, Joseph Carleton, ed.  “The Elders' Truth: A Yaqui Sermon” Journal of the Southwest Vol. 35, no. 3, Autumn 1993. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.