Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz-a witty, intellectually formidable, and prolific author-stands as an icon of women's early writing and of colonial New Spain. Living in the capital city of seventeenth-century Mexico, she was located in the center of her world, but, as a self-taught, illegitimate, Creole woman and as a nun subject to the authority of male religious leaders, she was also socially marginal within that world. Like other early modern women she took up the pen to challenge gendered norms of the time. In style and content her works, which draw on baroque stylistics, classical rhetoric, and the natural sciences, are key documents in the development of Western literature.
From monumental cathedrals to simple parish churches, perhaps as many as 100,000 churches and civic buildings were constructed in Mexico during the viceregal or colonial period (1535-1821). Many of these structures remain today as witnesses to the fruitful blending of Old and New World forms and styles that created an architecture of enduring vitality. In this profusely illustrated book, Robert J. Mullen provides a much-needed overview of Mexican colonial architecture and its attendant sculpture. Writing with just the right level of detail for students and general readers, he places the architecture in its social and economic context. He shows how buildings in the larger cities remained closer to European designs, while buildings in the pueblos often included prehispanic indigenous elements. This book grew out of the author's twenty-five-year exploration of Mexico's architectural and sculptural heritage. Combining an enthusiast's love for the subject with a scholar's care for accuracy, it is the perfect introduction to the full range of Mexico's colonial architecture.
In the seventeenth century, even as the Spanish Habsburg monarchy entered its irreversible decline, the capital of its most important overseas territory was flourishing. Nexus of both Atlantic and Pacific trade routes and home to an ethnically diverse population, Mexico City produced a distinctive Baroque culture that combined local and European influences. In this context, the American-born descendants of European immigrants—or creoles, as they called themselves—began to envision a new society beyond the terms of Spanish imperialism, and the writings of the Mexican polymath Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora (1645-1700) were instrumental in this process. Mathematician, antiquarian, poet, and secular priest, Sigüenza authored works on such topics as the 1680 comet, the defense of New Spain, pre-Columbian history, and the massive 1692 Mexico City riot. He wrote all of these, in his words, "out of love for mypatria." Through readings of Sigüenza y Góngora's diverse works,Baroque Sovereigntylocates the colonial Baroque at the crossroads of a conflicted Spanish imperial rule and the political imaginary of an emergent local elite. Arguing that Spanish imperialism was founded on an ideal of Christian conversion no longer applicable at the end of the seventeenth century, More discovers in Sigüenza y Góngora's works an alternative basis for local governance. The creole archive, understood as both the collection of local artifacts and their interpretation, solved the intractable problem of Spanish imperial sovereignty by establishing a material genealogy and authority for New Spain's creole elite. In an analysis that contributes substantially to early modern colonial studies and theories of memory and knowledge, More posits the centrality of the creole archive for understanding how a local political imaginary emerged from the ruins of Spanish imperialism.
Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial Mexico is a cultural history of the missionary enterprise in sixteenth-century Mexico, seen primarily through the work of Catholic missionaries and the native populations, principally the Aztecs. Jaime Lara's new work addresses the inculturation of Catholic sacraments and sacramentals into an Aztec worldview in visual and material terms. He argues that the pre-Tridentine Catholic liturgy - similar in some ways to pre-Hispanic worship - effectively "conquered" the religious imagination of its new Mesoamerican practitioners, thus creating the basis for a uniquely Mexican Catholicism.--BOOK JACKET.
"City, Temple, Stage is a new interpretation of the art, architecture, and liturgy created for the conversion of Aztecs and other native peoples of central Mexico by European Franciscan missionaries in the mid-sixteenth century. Jaime Lara contends that the design of missionary centers, or so-called "fortress monasteries," can only be understood against the backdrop of the eschatological concerns of the age and the missionary techniques of the mendicant friars. Lara argues that these architectural constructions are quasi-theatrical sets for elaborate educational and liturgical events that served as rehearsals for the last age of world history." "By analyzing the iconography associated with the Aztec religion and with Euro-Christian apocalyptic texts, Lara has been able to trace a consistent thread through two distinct religious and liturgical imaginations." "Lara's narrative is supported by more than 225 images."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Asking readers to imagine a history of Mexico narrated through the experiences of Africans and their descendants, this book offers a radical reconfiguration of Latin American history. Using ecclesiastical and inquisitorial records, Herman L. Bennett frames the history of Mexico around the private lives and liberty that Catholicism engendered among enslaved Africans and free blacks, who became majority populations soon after the Spanish conquest. The resulting history of 17th-century Mexico brings forth tantalizing personal and family dramas, body politics, and stories of lost virtue and sullen honour. By focusing on these phenomena among peoples of African descent, rather than the conventional history of Mexico with the narrative of slavery to freedom figured in,Colonial Blacknesspresents the colonial drama in all its untidy detail.
An amazing visual tour of Mexico's most spectacular and flamboyant churches, Divine Excess is a photographic tribute to the artistry, religious beliefs, and architectural ingenuity of Mexican Catholicism.
In an age of revolution, Mexico's creole leaders held aloft the Virgin of Guadalupe and brandished an Aztec eagle perched upon a European tricolor. Their new constitution proclaimed 'the Mexican nation is forever free and independent'. Yet the genealogy of this new nation is not easy to trace. Colonial Mexico was a patchwork state whose new-world vassals served the crown, extended the empire's frontiers and lived out their civic lives in parallel Spanish and Indian republics. Theirs was a world of complex intercultural alliances, interlocking corporate structures and shared spiritual and temporal ambitions. Sean F. McEnroe describes this history at the greatest and smallest geographical scales, reconsidering what it meant to be an Indian vassal, nobleman, soldier or citizen over three centuries in northeastern Mexico. He argues that the Mexican municipality, state and citizen were not so much the sudden creations of a revolutionary age as the progeny of a mature multiethnic empire.
In 1996 Mexico's Museo Nacional de Arte acquired a remarkable dossier of text and images that included an eighteenth-century document requesting permission to carry out a specific iconographic program in Tlaxcala. This discovery planted a seed that grew into Jaime Cuadriello's landmark work Las glorias de la República de Tlaxcala, now available in English for the first time. In 1789 don Ignacio Mazihcatzin, the Indian pastor of Yehualtepec, commissioned noted regional artist José Manuel Yllanes to do a set of oil paintings for his parish church. As a formal record of inquiry and approval between don Ignacio and the bishop of Puebla, the document includes depositions about the prospective paintings and watercolor sketches of them. From this material, art historian Cuadriello reconstructs both mythic and historic events in Tlaxcala's collective memory, providing an extensively contextualized study of art, society, religion, and history in eighteenth-century New Spain. In its broad scope, the book reaches far beyond a mere deciphering of the symbolism of iconic images to provide a new social history of art for colonial Mexico. It will appeal to art historians, historians of colonial Latin America, and scholars interested in how indigenous communities took the initiative, through a mythic and prophetic discourse, to negotiate and claim their own place within New Spain.
Located between Mexico City and Veracruz, Puebla has been a political hub since its founding as Puebla de los Ángeles in 1531. Frances L. Ramos's dynamic and meticulously researched study exposes and explains the many (and often surprising) ways that politics and political culture were forged, tested, and demonstrated through public ceremonies in eighteenth-century Puebla, colonial Mexico's "second city." Book jacket.
Sometime in the 1740s, Sor María Magdalena, an indigenous noblewoman living in one of only three convents in New Spain that allowed Indians to profess as nuns, sent a letter to Father Juan de Altamirano to ask for his help in getting church prelates to exclude Creole and Spanish women from convents intended for indigenous nuns only. Drawing on this and other such lettersas well as biographies, sermons, and other textsMónica Díaz argues that the survival of indigenous ethnic identity was effectively served by this class of noble indigenous nuns. While colonial sources that refer to indigenous women are not scant, documents in which women emerge as agents who actively participate in shaping their own identity are rare. Looking at this minority agencyor subaltern voicein various religious discourses exposes some central themes. It shows that an indigenous identity recast in Catholic terms was able to be effectively recorded and that the religious participation of these women at a time when indigenous parishes were increasingly secularized lent cohesion to that identity. Indigenous Writings from the Convent examines ways in which indigenous women participated in one of the most prominent institutions in colonial timesthe Catholic Churchand what they made of their experience with convent life. This book will appeal to scholars of literary criticism, women’s studies, and colonial history, and to anyone interested in the ways that class, race, and gender intersected in the colonial world.
The Inquisition! Just the word itself evokes, to the modern reader, endless images of torment, violence, corruption, and intolerance committed in the name of Catholic orthodoxy and societal conformity. But what do most people actually know about the Inquisition, its ministers, its procedures? This systematic, comprehensive look at one of the most important Inquisition tribunals in the New World reveals a surprisingly diverse panorama of actors, events, and ideas that came into contact and conflict in the central arena of religious faith. Edited and annotated by John F. Chuchiak IV, this collection of previously untranslated and unpublished documents from the Holy Office of the Inquisition in New Spain provides a clear understanding of how the Inquisition originated, evolved, and functioned in the colonial Spanish territories of Mexico and northern Central America. The three sections of documents lay out the laws and regulations of the Inquisition, follow examples of its day-to-day operations and procedures, and detail select trial proceedings. Chuchiak's opening chapter and brief section introductions provide the social, historical, political, and religious background necessary to comprehend the complex and generally misunderstood institutions of the Inquisition and the effect it has had on societal development in modern-day Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Featuring fifty-eight newly translated documents, meticulous annotations, and trenchant contextual analysis, this documentary history is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand the Inquisition in general and its nearly three-hundred-year reign in the New World in particular.
To rule their vast new American territories, the Spanish monarchs appointed viceroys in an attempt to reproduce the monarchical system of government prevailing at the time in Europe. But despite the political significance of the figure of the viceroy, little is known about the mechanisms of viceregal power and its relation to ideas of kingship. Examining this figure,The King's Living Imagechallenges long-held perspectives on the political nature of Spanish colonialism, recovering, at the same time, the complexity of the political discourses and practices of Spanish rule. It does so by studying the viceregal political culture that developed in New Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the mechanisms, both formal and informal, of viceregal rule. In so doing,The King's Living Imagequestions the very existence of a "colonial state" and contends that imperial power was constituted in ritual ceremonies. It also emphasizes the viceroys' significance in carrying out thecivilizing mission of the Spanish monarchy with regard to the indigenous population.The King's Living Imagewill redefine the ways in which scholars have traditionally looked at the viceregal administration in colonial Mexico.
This fascinating examination of bigamy in colonial Mexico reveals for the first time the lives, routines, and networks of ordinary people. The author, drawing from his close reading of Inquisition files, situates these people in the web of daily life: in families as they grow up and in communities as they learn the ways of society. With vivid glimpses of courtship, loss of virginity, marriage, adultery, abusive treatment, and failed marriage, he also follows them in their private lives. In the campaign to root out bigamy, the Inquisition relied on people to denounce one another. How they went about this reveals that gossip and curiosity sustained a surer and swifter system of communications than we might have imagined. The many pieces of stories recounted here convey emotions and reactions rarely preserved from past centuries. From a young child enduring abuse and rape by relatives to the wily suitor who tricks his future father-in-law with a tale of lost loot stored in a robber's cave, throughout this volume we hear the voices of hitherto invisible people.
Miracles, signs of divine presence and intervention, have been esteemed by Christians, especially Catholic Christians, as central to religious belief. During the second half of the eighteenth century Spain's Bourbon dynasty sought to tighten its control over New World colonies, reform imperial institutions, and change the role of the church and religion in colonial life. As a result, miracles were recognized and publicized sparingly by the church hierarchy and colonial courts were increasingly reluctant to recognize the events. Despite this lack of official encouragement, stories of amazing healings, rescues, and acts of divine retribution abounded throughout Mexico. Consisting of three rare documents about miracles from this period, each accompanied by an introductory essay, this study serves as a source book and complement to the author'sShrines and Miraculous Images: Religious Life in Mexico Before the Reforma.
Mexican Karismatachronicles the life of Francisca de los Ángeles (1674-1744), the daughter of a poor Creole mother and mestizofather who became a renowned holy woman in her native city of Querétaro, Mexico, during the high Baroque period. As a precocious young visionary and later as the headmistress of an important religious institution for women, Francisca actively partook in the project to revitalize the Catholic cult in New Spain's northern regions led by her mentors, the Spanish missionaries of the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith. Her copious correspondence, containing hundreds of unedited letters, documents the personal experience of popular Catholicism during the high Baroque period in New Spain. Francisca's journey to God did not follow prescribed hagiographical guidelines, drawing its inspiration instead from an eclectic mix of the doctrines of the Counter-Reformation, medieval spirituality, and local traditions. Her ecstatic apostolate to the dead and living often bordered on heresy but found acceptance and came to fruition under the protection of Querétaro's ecclesiastical and secular elite. Her life shows how mystic rapture and sociability joined in this colonial variation of Early Modern Catholicism and demonstrates the remarkable vitality and openness of urban spirituality in the New World.
Examines in detail the murals painted on the vault walls of the Augustinian monastery at Malinalco, southwest of Mexico City, which have been progressively uncovered from layers of whitewash and restored since the 1970s. Shows how the combination of motives promoted the political and religious agendas of the Spanish conquerors, but also preserved a record of pre-Columbian rituals and imagery. - Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In fifteen essays, leading scholars from the Americas and Great Britain discuss the most telling aspects of Mexico's popular culture from the sixteenth century to the present. The vast range of Mexican expression is examined, including lewd songs and dances, fiestas, stone murals, Corpus Christi celebrations, brass bands, and folk theater. Filling a need that becomes ever more pressing, this timely volume will provide fresh insights for readers interested in cultural history, Latin America, anthropology, and other areas.
Over nearly three centuries, Jesuit, Franciscan, and Dominican missionaries built a network of churches throughout the new world” of New Spain. Since the early twentieth century, scholars have studied the colonial architecture of southern New Spain, but they have largely ignored the architecture of the north. However, as this book clearly demonstrates, the colonial architecture of Northern New Spainan area that encompasses most of the southwestern United States and much of northern Mexicois strikingly beautiful and rich with meaning. After more than two decades of research, both in the field and in archives around the world, Gloria Fraser Giffords has authored the definitive book on this architecture. Giffords has a remarkable eye for detail and for images both grand and diminutive. Because so many of the buildings she examines have been destroyed, she sleuthed through historical records in several countries, and she discovered that the architecture and material culture of northern New Spain reveal the influences of five continents. As she examines objects as large as churches or as small as ornamental ceramic tile she illuminates the sometimes subtle, sometimes striking influences of the religious, social, and artistic traditions of Europe (from the beginning of the Christian era through the nineteenth century), of the Muslim countries ringing the Mediterranean (from the seventh through the fifteenth centuries), and of Northern New Spain’s indigenous peoples (whose art influenced the designs of occupying Europeans). Sanctuaries of Earth, Stone, and Light is a pathbreaking book, featuring 200 stunning photographs and over 300 illustrations ranging from ceremonial garments to detailed floor plans of the churches.
The vast literature on Our Lady of Guadalupe dominates the study of shrines and religious practices in Mexico. But there is much more to the story of shrines and images in Mexico's religious history than Guadalupe and Marian devotion. In this book, a distinguished historian brings together his new and recent essays on previously unstudied or reconsidered places, themes, patterns, and episodes in Mexican religious history during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. William Taylor explores the use of local and regional shrines, and devotion to images of Christ and Mary, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, to get to the heart of the politics and practices of faith in Mexico before the Reforma. Each of these essays touches on methodological and conceptual matters that open out to processes and paradoxes of change and continuity, exposing the symbolic complexity behind the material representations.
Mexico's churches and conventos display a unique blend of European and native styles. Missionary Mendicant friars arrived in New Spain shortly after Cortes's conquest of the Aztec empire in 1521 and immediately related their own European architectural and visual arts styles to the tastes and expectations of native Indians. Right from the beginning the friars conceived of conventos as a special architectural theater in which to carry out their proselytizing. Over four hundred conventos were established in Mexico between 1526 and 1600, and more still in New Mexico in the century following, all built and decorated by native Indian artisans who became masters of European techniques and styles even as they added their own influence. The author argues that these magnificent sixteenth and seventeenth-century structures are as much part of the artistic patrimony of American Indians as their pre-Conquest temples, pyramids, and kivas. Mexican Indians, in fact, adapted European motifs to their own pictorial traditions and thus made a unique contribution to the worldwide spread of the Italian Renaissance. The author brings a wealth of knowledge of medieval and Renaissance European history, philosophy, theology, art, and architecture to bear on colonial Mexico at the same time as he focuses on indigenous contributions to the colonial enterprise. This ground-breaking study enriches our understanding of the colonial process and the reciprocal relationship between European friars and native artisans.
Showcasing the prestigious collection of the Davenport Museum of Art -- among the largest and most important Mexican colonial collections outside of Mexico City -- this book addresses the development of Mexican colonial painting and its relationship with European art and civilisation, the changing political and social dynamics of colonial Mexico and the contributions of its indigenous peoples.
Madre Maria de San Jose (1656 - 1719) -- mystic, chronicler, and co-founder of an Augustinian convent -- inscribed her life story within the model of spiritual autobiography set by St. Augustine and Teresa of Avila, but at the same time included her individual story as a seventeenth-century woman of the landowning classes in New Spain. The resulting manuscript records in intimate detail her family life, convent surroundings, and social milieu; it introduces us to a combative and engaging person and gives us a rare and vivid glimpse of a complex society.