Thursday, February 9, 2017

[ According to the Peruvian journalist Jose Carlos Mariategui, there was too much coincidence about the apparitions of European Saints in Peru. Mariategui mentions that the Catholic Church adapted their own traditions to blend with the locals.[1] The Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes also argues something similar in relation to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Fuentes states that there is a strong coincidence about where the image of the Virgin appeared, similar to what happened in Peru. This place was a sacred location as well.[2] In the project of Colonization nothing was accidental. Before the colonizers touched or removed something in the locals’ land, they studied it. One of the architects behind this project was King Phillip II, even though there are no records that demonstrate that he went to the Americas. He was also knowledgeable of the locals’ culture; “…upon hearing that the people of Peru still adored the sun, the Gods of the mountains and mother earth, he ordered various images be made for Cusco. Among these images he commissioned a large beautiful Christ with a copper color and features that would allow the Indians to recognize themselves in it.”[3] This knowledge was used to accommodate their culture within the locals’ culture; for instance, they knew that nudity was considered a form of disgrace in the Andes. In order to avoid conflict, the images of Christ needed to be dressed, even though the Catholic Church agreed that Christ had been crucified without clothes.[4] Knowing and understanding the foundations of the locals’ culture facilitated the process of invasion.]

[1] José Carlos Mariátegui. 1971. Seven interpretive essays on Peruvian reality. Austin: University of Texas Press, 134.
[2] Carlos, Fuentes. 1992. The buried mirror: reflections on Spain and the New World, 144, 146.
[3] STANFIELD-MAZZI, MAYA. 2013. Object and Apparition Envisioning the Christian Divine in the Colonial Andes. TUCSON: University of Arizona Press. (102).
[4] Ibid., (99).

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