Paula Nicho Cúmez’s paintings are always symbolic, and from the point of view of a Maya woman. In this painting we see a woman emerging from a mountain spring. She represents the heart (Ruk’u’x), the essence, of the spirit of water (Ya’). For the Maya, such things as the earth, the sky, and water, are living things with a spirit just like plants, animals, or people. Paula explains: “These are the energies that protect us and provide us with security and nourishment, the way a mother does. Our Mother Earth is generous and wants to see us grow. She gives us water from her breast and lets us live in her body as her memory.”
There is a secondary theme in this painting, one Paula revisits regularly in her paintings. The traditional designs in Maya weaving appear on the woman’s skin—not on something she is wearing. In this way Paula indicates that the traje (traditional attire) that she wears every day is like a second skin—part of her essence as a Maya woman.