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Posts Tagged ‘Virgin of Guadalupe’

The devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe captured the imagination of fiber artist Linda Hanna when, as an early teen, she visited Mexico with her family and saw believers crawling on their knees up to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Blouse by Teresa Silvia Tzintzun, San Pedro Zipiajo, Michoacán (Purepecha).

Detail of blouse by Teresa Silvia Tzintzun, San Pedro Zipiajo, Michoacán (Purepecha).

The Virgin’s appeal continued to deepen when Linda moved to Oaxaca in 1997.  Thus the seeds/threads of the exhibition, “Rosas y Revelaciones: Homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe by Mexican Textile Artists” were sown/sewn.

Blouse by Marcolina Salvador Hidalgo, Chachahuantla, Puebla (Nahua).

Detail of blouse by Marcolina Salvador Hidalgo, Chachahuantla, Puebla (Nahua).

The legend of La Virgen de Guadalupe is known to every Mexican, every person of Mexican descent, and probably every foreigner who calls Mexico home.  The image of this dark-skinned Virgin who spoke Náhuatl is as imprinted on the national consciousness as she was on Juan Diego’s legendary tilma (cloak).

Dress by María Guadalupe Santiago Sánchez, San Antonino Castillo Velazco, Oaxaca (Zapoteco).

Detail of dress by María Guadalupe Santiago Sánchez, San Antonino Castillo Velazco, Oaxaca (Zapoteco).

Her image has continued to appear on cloth, albeit with human, not divine, intervention.  Both Father Miguel Hidalgo in the Mexican War of Independence and Emiliano Zapata, one hundred years later, during the Mexican Revolution, led their troops under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Man’s tunic by Pascuala Vásquez Hernández, Zinacatán, Chiapas (Tzotzil, Maya).

Shawl by Adolfo García Díaz & Delvina Salinas Cruz, Tenancingo, Estado de México.

The Rosas y Revelaciones textile exhibition presents work from 52 communities in ten states in Mexico (Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tlaxacala, and Yucatán) — with the majority being from Oaxaca.

Apron by Valeria García Hernández, San Miguel del Valle, Oaxaca (Zapoteco).

Detail of apron by Valeria García Hernández, San Miguel del Valle, Oaxaca (Zapoteco).

Linda explained that she gave the artists free rein to let their imagination and expertise be their guide. I suspect these words by Guadalupe Ángela, from her poem, “Virgen de la Creación” (Madonna of Creation) composed for the exhibition, echo their prayers for inspiration and guidance:

Madonna of Creation
pull the image from me, the beauty.
Make it cedar, make it textile, make it
a landscape.  May the needle and thread be touched
by you.

Ruana by Erasto (Tito) Mendoza Ruiz, Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca (Zapoteco).

When you go, be sure to take the time to watch the video interviews with some of the artisans — the seriousness, devotion, and honor they felt at being selected to participate in this incredibly special project is extremely moving.  The show is currently at the Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca (MEAPO) (closed on Mondays) in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca and runs through March 17, 2019 (extended until April 28, 2019) — after which it will be prepared to tour.  Its first stop will be at the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares in Coyocán, Mexico City — in time for Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe on December 12, 2019.

(ps)  Linda is hoping the exhibition will develop wings and fly throughout Mexico and eventually to the USA.  If you have contacts in the museum world who might be interested in hosting this exhibition, please be sure to contact Linda.

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Tomorrow is Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe.  Celebrating the Queen of Mexico, Empress of America, and patron saint of Mexico isn’t just a one day event.  In Oaxaca city, Llano Park with Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe at the north end of the park, is the epicenter of activities — including clowns.

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The south half of Llano Park is taken up with a carnival and vendors selling toys, Christmas lights, and a variety of holiday decorations.  Above that, there are aisles upon aisles of food stalls, and along the side the church, Guadalupe scenes, designed and constructed by scores of professional photographers vying for pesos for portraits, have been constructed.

As I write, Guadalupe’s children, the little Juan Diegos and their peasant sisters are lined up around the block.  They have been brought by parents and grandparents to wait to enter the church to be blessed and then pose for portraits in one of the Guadalupe scenes.  Hopefully, the payasos (clowns) provide some entertainment and much-needed distraction!

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In Teotitlán del Valle, waiting for last Sunday’s convite, honoring the Virgen de Guadalupe, to begin.

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Watching and waiting from the best seat in the house!

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Waiting to process in the traditional red wool skirt and embroidered blouse.

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Little boys waiting to lead off the procession.

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Even a couple of little Juan Diego’s were ready and waiting.

The patience of the people of Oaxaca, even the kids, never ceases to amaze me.

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Saturday, like all Mexico, Teotitlán del Valle honored the Virgen de Guadalupe.  As they do every December 12, the Danzantes de Promesa danced the Danza de la Pluma.  However, this was the last performance by this group; their three-year commitment to their god, church, and community was at an end.  And, as is their tradition, the dancers and their families offered the village food, drink, and a party to celebrate.

Dancers and their wives, parents, grandparents, godparents, sisters, brothers, and children came bearing fruits, candy, mezcal, and beer.

The children learn at an early age that it isn’t all about them — they are part of a community and have roles to play and contributions to make.

All ages and genders have a role.  The men, more often than not, get the glory but look at these women!  They radiate the strength and pride of 2000 years of Teotitlán del Valle, Zapotec history and culture.

As darkness fell and after dancing for several hours, 9-year olds, Juana Lizbeth Contreras (Malinche) and Ailani Ruiz Ruiz (Doña Marina) made the rounds of the thousands gathered on the church plaza to distribute their gifts to their community.  It was then that emotion overwhelmed me.

A profound muchisimas gracias to the people of Teotitlán del Valle for being so welcoming over the years to a couple of gringo bloggers.  Chris and I are so grateful for your generosity of spirit.  Definitely, more to come…

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The bells, bands, and booms have been soundtrack of the city for a week — the virgins are being celebrated!  First in line, on December 8, for chiming church bells, processions, and fireworks was the Virgen de Juquila and third will be Oaxaca’s patron saint, the Virgen de la Soledad on Dec. 18.  However, in between the eighth and eighteenth, all of Mexico honors the Virgin of Guadalupe.   Today, December 12 is her day but, like the others, the festivities began days in advance.

Scenes from last night in front of the Iglesia de Guadalupe in Oaxaca city…

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Now on to Teotitlán de Valle for this afternoon’s Día de Guadalupe performance of the Danza de la Pluma.  We have been told the festivities will last all night, as the community will also be saying “adios” to this group of dancers — their three-year commitment is at an end.  It will be a miracle of the Virgin if we can party hardy until even midnight, but we will give it the old college try!

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Today is Guadalupe’s feast day.  This Queen of Mexico, Empress of America, and patron saint of Mexico is being celebrated all over Mexico and, apparently for the first time in Vatican history, today Pope Francis to Say Mass in Honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

In Mexico, it’s not just a one-day event.  Wednesday afternoon, while Chris and I were giving our previously mentioned presentation at the Oaxaca Lending Library, only blocks away festivities began with a religious ceremony at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the side of Llano Park.  It was followed that night with a calenda through the streets of the city.  Yesterday, Guadalupe’s children, the little Juan Diegos and their peasant sisters, were brought by parents (and grandparents) to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (at the north end of Llano Park), where they waited patiently in long lines to enter the church to be blessed and then be photographed in “Guadalupe” scenes.

However, on the streets of Oaxaca, Guadalupe is seen everywhere and everyday…

The other big news from Rome, that Oaxaqueños are celebrating, is the Wealth of Oaxaca craft present in the Vatican Museum — a Christmas tree and Nativity scene decorated with artesania crafted by 142 Oaxacan families from 25 municipalities in the state.  The exhibition was inaugurated on December 10 and will run through February 2015 — should you be planning a trip to Italy!

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Meet the new gals in town…

Virgin of Guadalupe painted on yellow wall

Skeleton on swing painted on orange wall

Life and death in Oaxaca.

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Tomorrow, December 12, is  el Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, aka, Queen of Mexico, Empress of America, and patron saint of México.

Legend and belief has it that in, “1525, only four years after the conquest, the Aztec Quauhtlatoatzin was baptized by a Franciscan priest, who named him Juan Diego. Six years later, on December 9th, Juan Diego witnessed the first appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe. She told him she wanted a church built on Tepeyac Hill and told him to communicate her wish to the authorities.  Mexico’s first Bishop, Juan de Zumárraga, didn’t believe him.”  She appeared to Juan Diego three more times and with her last apparition, “she asked him to go gather some flowers: roses, which had never grown there, much less in mid-winter.  He wrapped them in his ayate or tilma, a sort of coarsely woven cape, and the Virgin told him not to open it until he was before the Bishop. When Juan Diego opened the tilma in front of Bishop Zumárraga, the roses cascaded out and they discovered the image of the Virgin imprinted upon it. ”  Thus, her iconic cloak we see in paintings and statues.

In Oaxaca, her fiesta began on December 2 and will end with a mass at 7 PM on December 13.  Today, little boys of the city, dressed as Juan Diego, and little girls, in the traditional traje (costume), were brought by parents (and grandparents) to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (at the north end of Llano Park), where they waited patiently in long lines to enter the church to be blessed.  Once they exited, fifteen (más o menos) “Guadalupe settings” designed and constructed by photographers and their assistants, vied for pesos for portraits.

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By the way, there was a reward awaiting the little Juan Diegos and his sisters —  rows upon rows of food stalls, carnival rides, and puestos selling toys, Santa hats, Christmas lights.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Teotitlán del Valle for their traditional Virgen de Guadalupe performance of the Danza de la Pluma.  And, did I mention yesterday’s national Day of the Clown festivities?  Stay tuned…

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On this day honoring one of the most revered icons of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe

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The city of Oaxaca’s children are dressed as little Juan Diegos and their peasant sisters.

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They are brought to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe at the north end of Llano Park.

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Here they and their parents wait patiently in a line that rings the church.

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They are waiting to enter (via the door with a large banner marked, “entrada”) the church and be blessed.

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Once they exit (via the door marked “salida”), there are photographers waiting, with burros and panoramic scenes, to take commemorative photographs — for a fee.

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The sun is hot, the lines are long, and sometimes it’s long past nap time.  By the way, there is also a carnival (with rides and games) and puestos upon puestos of food; the religious and secular meet.

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I’ve got my eye on you…

Decorated skeleton on top of building.

I’m praying for you…

Virgin of Guadalupe image stenciled on a wall

You just never know who might be looking over your shoulder.

Skeleton perched on rooftop above a stencil of the Virgen of Guadalupe

Días de los Muertos are coming…

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Hmmm… hope you didn’t need a taxi in Oaxaca today.  It’s not that they weren’t around; they were everywhere!  August 12 is Día del Taxista and, instead of picking up fares, taxis are decorated and parade through the city, accompanied by banners, bands, monos, and the Virgen de Guadalupe.

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I think I managed to capture one of each of the (color-coded) taxi organizations participating — 13 by my count.  However, the procession didn’t seem as long this year and I’m thinking some of the organizations were missing.  Charges of corruption, going back to the previous governor have been ramping up and the July 25th blockade that paralyzed transportation into and out of the city, by some taxistas, seemed to put the issue on the front burner.  But, who knows???  Certainly not this gringa!

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