Artist Updates Mexican Card Game To Challenge Stereotypes [Video]

Photos: Daniel Wayne Lugo/Gofundme
By SPECTRANtwrk - Published on August 16, 2017.

Oakland-based artist Daniel Wayne Lugo is putting a new spin on an old game.

Lotería is a popular game of chance. Although it originated in Europe, the Mexican version is similar to bingo, in that players try to match cards with various pictograms; decks are also used in psychic readings.


The images are traditional, but they also evoke stereotypes: a black man with a top hat in cane is El Negrito, while El Apache depicts a Native American holding a tomahawk and spear.

“As a kid, I played Lotería, and I didn’t really like a lot of the images I saw,” said Lugo. Although some designs are imaginative and aesthetically pleasing, “people get really wrapped up in the romanticism of the images,” he said.

To reinterpret the designs, Lugo created Malditoria, a contemporary version of the game that uses pictograms of his own making.

“I wanted to create something that had a voice for the Mestizo—the mixed,” he said.

Lugo said he hopes people using the Malditoria deck for lotería and readings will reflect on “what it means to be a Mexican, and at the same time, what it means to be a human being.”

He's raising $5,000 to produce decks of Malditoria cards for sale. For more information, visit his Gofundme page.

One of the cards Lugo designed for Malditoria.
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