Monday, February 6, 2017

[ The colonizers knew that the simple alteration of the locals’ environment wouldn’t be enough to control them. Therefore, they created myths around the apparitions of these images.[1] The idea was to convey the message that this transition was not a mundane affair, but a divine order. “Like Christ of the earthquakes, Viracocha was believed to be the cause of seismic and meteorological events, and as we have seen, the cathedral may have been built over the palace of the Inca ruler Viracocha.”[2] As with the Christ of the earthquakes, many other images of Saints and Virgins have appeared in Peru and in the Americas on specific sacred locations, all of them with their well constructed stories of how the apparitions occurred.
Given the veracity of the apparitions in this location of the Christ of the Earthquakes, one of the legends states that on May 13th there was an earthquake in that place. The church suffered all the damages and only the figure of Christ was intact. Therefore, according to this legend, it takes the name of Christ of the Earthquakes.[3] As a result of this natural event, the survival of the image was considered a miracle, particularly for one detail. Due to the earthquake, the crown of Christ fell off to his neck, and when they tried to put it back again to its place more aftershocks occurred. So they decided to leave it like that.[4]]

[1] For the French Philosopher Roland Barthes, myths are constructed narratives that are made to be understood as real and universal narratives according to the members of a particular society. Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of looking: an introduction to visual culture. New York: Oxford University Press. 20.
[2] STANFIELD-MAZZI, MAYA. 2013. Object and Apparition Envisioning the Christian Divine in the Colonial Andes. TUCSON: University of Arizona Press. 74.
[3] Other authors indicate that when the image was carried on a procession the earthquakes stopped. Palmer, Gabrielle G., and Donna Pierce. 1992. Cambios: the spirit of transformation in Spanish colonial art. [Santa Barbara, Calif.]: Santa Barbara Museum of Art in cooperation with University of New Mexico Press. 31.

[4] The information about the myths was taken from this source that it is in Spanish. Gonzalo, Haristoy. "Las historias paranormales tras el Cristo de mayo." Cristo de mayo: entre mitos, temblores y milagros | Noticias Santiago | January 27, 2017. Accessed February 01, 2017.

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