Monday, April 12, 2010

Parroquia - Our Lord of Conquest

In the Parroquia, the parish church on the jardin (the main square) in San Miguel de Allende, is the Statue of Our Lord of Conquest. Just down the left isle, in the first chapel, is this beautiful piece of artwork made by the Indians of Patzcuaro in the late 1500's.

It is constructed of corn stalks and glue made from orchid bulbs. The glue not only seals the statue, it also preserves the vegetable matter. Leather thongs were used to emulate muscles and veins. Even though it is life size, it only weights a few pounds.

Back in the 1500's, this statue and a similar one were being delivered by two friars to San Miguel de Allende. They were ambushed out side of town and both friars were murdered. It was rumored that the blood of one of the friars stained one of the statues. One statue was sold back to some Spaniards who in turned donated to La Parroquia.

My group and I were just in this church on my walking tour of San Miguel this week and they were very interested in hearing about the history behind each church. This particular story really intrigued them. One lady, a docent at the Denver Art Museum, had heard about statues being made out of corn husks but had never actually seen one. With the smooth appearance of the statue, one would never know it is made of corn husks. It's a pretty amazing piece of art!

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