The Plight of Mudheads


I use Mudhead as a visual metaphor to explain the state of Deaf education as Deaf children continue to fall in the cracks after they graduate from high school. The Mudhead figures float away as they are not prepared to go out in the real world due to lack of English or ASL or both skills they need to succeed. In ancient Zuni lore, Mudhead represents figures with disabilities or deformities.

The Mudhead that represents figures with deafness or disability also means they are culturally lost due to communication barriers as they flow away from their home culture. They often leave their reservations to seek better educational opportunities. In most cases, grandparents are the ones who teach culture to grandchildren.


Dr. Tony Landon McGregor


The Plight of Mudheads




Watercolor painting


There is a landscape in the background with brown mud heads falling to a green ground from a blue sky with white clouds.


Dr. Tony Landon McGregor, “The Plight of Mudheads,” RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center , accessed August 18, 2022,