Mestizo Baroque

On Sunday morning I celebrated Mass in the parish church of Tonantzintla, Mexico – renowned for its very rich mestizo baroque decoration (baroque style but with indigenous features).

The image of Our Lady above the altar is “Our Lady of Life”, and on the columns surrounding here are 240 babies, representing one child for each day of human gestation (according to their reckoning of things).

An interesting tidbit concerning the decoration of this church is that among the very vibrant decorative patterns there appear lots of different types of chili peppers. This was because the indigenous population understood their happiness in heaven as including an abundance of chili peppers!

The dome and ceiling above the sanctuary… Hmmm, what would your heaven include? (If you had any say in the matter!)

These are all the photos I got – we were chastised by a member of the community for taking pictures, as apparently it is not allowed (and apparently the fact of my celebrating Mass for them was not a sufficient excuse!)…

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