Articles from February 2022

Huaquecholteca Penitential Procession

Savannah L. Esquivel - Unsettling Representations of Indigenous Peoples in Colonial Mexico

In the middle of the sixteenth century, Indigenous communities in Mexico built 251 missions (conventos) at a moment when drought and disease devastated Native populations by 80%. The conventos are among the largest buildings ever constructed in colonial Latin America. They were once considered to be manifestations of the ‘spiritual conquest’ – the forcible conversion of Indigenous peoples by Spanish missionaries. Scholars using Indigenous sources have recently revealed that Native artists, patrons, and labor regimes were critical to the development of monumental Christian art and architecture in Mexico.