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Beautiful Children

Fourth World Eye Blog

Mexico Profundo

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In his seminal book Mexico Profundo, Guillermo Bonfil Batalla describes the collective body of indigenous resistance within Mexico as the Profound Mexico—“an entity that has resisted invading forces for centuries and that keeps resisting, appealing to diverse strategies, depending on the scheme of domination to which it is subjected” (Batalla, 1996).

Nowhere is this creative cultural assertion more apparent than in one of the most celebrated holidays in Mexico:  Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) which culminates on December, 12th.  While the celebration is widely perceived as Catholic, the undeniable indigenous symbolism is worth noting. The original virgin was actually based on the indigenous deity, Tonantzin, the earth mother of the Mexica people. Conquering Europeans sought to Christianize her so as to convert the indigenous populations to their religion. Over the years, however, both the indigenous and mestizo (those of mixed indigenous and European descent) peoples of Mexico continue to re-appropriate Guadalupe-- through the dawning of indigenous clothing and the preparation of maize-based foods, thereby reasserting her mother-earthly roots.

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