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The sea is a constant reminder of the precarious struggle between life and death. It is a struggle that rewards the strong and punishes the weak. This struggle reflects the conflict between the unstoppable waves of colonialism drowning the native peoples. Kino and the other villagers must contend with the constant disrespect and exploitation of the colonials. Kino and his people are left with a hybrid of colonial and ancient customs. Juana, for example, uses her rosary while singing an ancient song. Loyalties are stratified between the push of colonialism and the pull of their indigenous heritage. The sea is also a metaphor for this struggle.