Mexico’s melting pot. Part II

First part here, and let’s go on to find out how Pepsi is related to the Holy Communion.

As we walk through the park and never ending stalls, we see a clearing and a church.

There’s a small square in front of it, bustling with people and bristling with balloons:

The stalls crawled up almost inside the church, blocking its entrances. But that will not scare us away:

As we get inside, we understand Mexico is a very religious country. Lots of people inside.

A catholic church is a catholic church. Anywhere. Somber in the stalls, opulent at the altar:

But as we walk through the church, we see this wall:

Let’s get a closer look:

Hearts with daggers? Legs? Arms? Small girls? What is this all about?

Oh. That’s the wall on which Christian Mexico meets its Aztec past. These are “symbols” denoting the objective for people’s prayers. They want to heal some body parts, but first of all they are seeking love and want children. To increase the prayer’s potency you have to make this symbolic sacrifice. Aztecs, probably, would carve a prisoner-of-war’s heart out, but today a brass heart is OK.

Well. How do you know if the prayer system works? Easy. Look at the statue below. That’s local saint working as an intermediary for the prayers in this parish.

Look at the ribbons. A black ribbon means the prayer has not been answered. All other colours mean the wish was granted, and there’s a complicated rule of what colours you have to use for which wish.

Do you see many black ribbons? That’s a living proof prayer is a working tool.

It is very naive. And very touching. Especially if you catch a moment when someone puts their ribbon on that hanger. The faces! Those faces of innocent and true believers in the ancient magic of brass amulets and coloured ribbons mixed with Christianity into something childishly naive. But, as I said, very touching.

In some distant parts of Mexico Christian rituals are a jacket conveniently put over pagan beliefs. For instance, there’s a village where residents come to a church with their own chicken and Pepsi. Chicken is used to do a blood sacrifice, right on the stray floor of the church and Pepsi is used instead of red wine:

I am sure local anthropologists know everything beliefs of the local population. As I have the language barrier, I have to watch art to understand the underlying culture through it.

And all I can say, there’s some good dental care in the afterlife.

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3 thoughts on “Mexico’s melting pot. Part II

  1. Akmerf

    Very interesting, I’ve never been there, it’s something different as I see. Thank you 😉
    Btw in Thailand people use Pepsi, Fanta, Coca-Cola as a drink for the spirit of their place (work, home, hotel). They build special houses for spirits not far from their own ones and put food and drinks there. Sometimes they use coconuts but these beverages are also liked by the spirits)

    Reply
    1. artmoscow Post author

      Well, in Russia there is a tradition to pour a glass of vodka with a slice of bread on top for the deceased. No anti-alcohol campaign can change it 😉

      Reply

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