POTD: Space Invasion

Space Invasion
Tucson, Arizona

This odd (to me) scene was on a sidewalk in downtown Tucson. I’ve seen a number of signs or graffiti around the Southwest in recent years using the word “occupied” to reflect indigenous peoples feelings about their traditional lands being mostly taken over by European peoples and their descendants over the last couple of centuries.

I was not familiar with the word Cukson though. I wondered at first if it were an odd, possibly profane slang word of some sort. But I did some research about it on the internet and found it was not that at all. Instead it is variation of an English language spelling of the Tohono O’odham word for what is officially called Sentinel Mountain, and later the original settlement now known as Tucson that surrounds the peak. The word means “black base”, which is visually descriptive of Sentinel Peak. Alternate spellings I came across include “Chukson and Tu-uk-so-on. As close as I could figure, the name is pronounced something like “chew-sawn”, which the Spanish pronounced or spelled as “Tuqui Son,” later becoming Tucson.

As far as the flying saucers (submarines?) go, I imagine their placement next to the text was incidental. However, the juxtaposition does make some coherent sense given that the encroachment of European settlers and the appearance of little green men in flying saucers in the area could both be seen as unwanted invasions of (and in the later case from) space.


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