Texas state Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) was present to help in the inauguration of the Texas Tejano Monument on the Capitol grounds in Austin.
West said this was an important step in celebrating the history and cultural diversity of the state.
“Glad to join my friends for the inauguration of the Texas Tejano Monument. We must celebrate the history and diversity of our state and this is a great step in the right direction,” West said in a Facebook post.
The monument was first erected in 2012 after Texas Legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 38 in 2001 authorizing the committee to erect the monument, created by Laredo sculptor Armando Hinojosa, a Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) factsheet said.
“The Tejano Monument is one of the largest monuments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and features a 20-foot granite base with 10 statues and five bronze-relief plaques. It was proposed by the Tejano Monument, Inc., a private fundraising committee of Mexican American leaders,” the TSHA factsheet said.
According to the TSHA, the monument took approximately $2 million to fund.
“The Tejano Monument is comprised of 10 separate bronze statues on a sculptured granite base or pedestal that slopes downward from approximately 10 feet above ground level at the rear to only three feet above ground level along the front edge of the monument. The granite stone was cut from a single monolith, weighing approximately 250 tons, mined from the same quarry north of Austin that provided the pink granite that was used for the Capitol building itself,” the factsheet said.
According to the TSHA, Tejano, pronounced te-ha-no, means “Texan” in Spanish. This is significant because it refers to the native Spanish and Mexican settlers who founded Texas initially as a province of New Spain, that later became a state of the Republic of Mexico and then Texas.
As a visual representation and recognition of Tejano culture, the monument also stands as a reminder that that Mexican-descent pioneers founded the province (state) of Texas, a Rio Grande Guardian article said.
Dan Arellano, president of the Tejano Genealogy Society, said the monument is a step in the right direction.
“Never has there been anything that honors our ancestors in a positive way on the grounds of the Capitol,” a Culture Map Austin report said.
For Tejanos, the monument stands for their culture finally being publicly recognized by the state, the Culture Map Austin said.