“Tamales are made for an occasion, and an occasion is made out of making them.” —Diana Kennedy, The Cuisines of Mexico
We have an opportunity to visit one of Tucson’s most spectacular popular Baroque installations.
The Virgin of Guadalupe spray-painted on the boarded-up window of a house near the corner of Fourth Avenue and 10th Street, March, 1982. Jim Griffith photo.
A more focused use of the Virgin as cultural symbol. She stands in the center, supported not by the usual angel but by a Chicano. Radiating out from here are historical images and symbols if hope for the future. Taken at the Pizza Hut on West St Mary's Road in 1995.
Detail of mural by Martin Moreno and Students on the south wall of La Pilita, near the El Tiradito shrine. The entire mural illustrates continuities in Chicano culture. This segment seems to illustrate the shrine, above and below ground, with a glimpse into the modern world among the clouds."
Detail of the Perfection Plumbing mural by Tucson High students and Antonio Pazos, 950 S. Park Ave. This mural, now painted over, includes the Virgin of Guadalupe as one of a number of symbols of Chicano cultural identity, including, from left, a church, a deer dancer, revolutionary soldiers…
Mural on the road north from Altar, Sonora. Altar is an important stop on the road north-bound. This mural is one way in which would-be border-crossers are warned of the dangers ahead.
Detail of mural in previous photo.
This story reaches from the Sonoran Desert to Albuquerque and back again, and today — the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe — is the time to tell it.
When the first Franciscan missionaries arrived in Mexico City just after the Conquest, they were faced with formidable tasks. Their job was to convert to Christianity a huge urban Native populace whose language and culture they were unacquainted with and many of whose customs they found repu…
This Saturday — tomorrow and next day — we all have a chance to visit the Annual Fiesta de Tumacacori, at Tumacacori National Historical Park. Take my advice, and go — it’s an almost perfect celebration of the people and history of the upper Santa Cruz Valley.
The statue of Saint Francis Xavier, ready for his feast day at Mission San Xavier del Bac. Jim Griffith photo, December, 1988.
Wednesday, Dec. 3, is the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, the unofficial patron of our Pimería Alta.
The statue of St. Francis Xavier as it normally appears over the main altar of Mission San Xavier del Bac. Jim Griffith photo, June 17, 1999.
It was often about this time of year, when winter was becoming a reality, that I’d start getting phone calls from Van Holyoak. Van had a family ranch up in Clay Srings, in Arizona’s White Mountains near Showlow. He supported what he called his “cow habit” by working full-time for the Arizona…
In my last blog I mentioned Father Kino’s travelling companion, Juan Mateo Manje. He is a man worth meeting. An officer in the Spanish army, he was born in 1670 in Aragón, Spain. He arrived in Sonora in 1693 with his uncle, General Jironza, the military governor of that province. He became t…
Mural of Father Kino and his unfinished boat, in the main plaza of Magdalena de Kino. Jim Griffith photo, March, 2006.
This is admittedly a bit of a drive, and makes the most sense if you’re headed towards Altar or Caborca anyway.
Some of the terraces on the north slope of Cerro de las Trincheras, January 16, 1995, Jim Griffith photo.
The painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the west end of the north slope of el Cerro de Trincheras. The gate to the right of the sign marks the entrance to the trail leading up to the shrine. "Tepeyac" is the name of the hill outside Mexico City where the original apparition took place. Th…
Last week I attended the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society.
Juan Soldado is better known in Tijuana than he is in the Pimería Alta.
This is the second in a three-part series on folk saints.
The first of three blogs about folk saints of our region.
Detail of the alter in the Juan Soldado chapel in 1983. Juan's statue is covered with offerings. His likeness comes from a photograph believed to represent him. The other two statues represent the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Jim Griffith photo.
The chapel of Juan Soldado in the Panteón Numero Uno, Tijuana, Baja California. Juan's grave is surrounded by the blue fence in the foreground. His bust is over the entrance to the chapel. Ex-votos and floral offerings are much in evidence. This photo was taken in 1983; since then the chapel…
The altar in the Malverde chapel in Culiacán. You can see testimonial ex-votos on the rear wall. Nobody had a photo of Malverde, so this likeness, now the standard one, was created from photographs of Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante, two popular ranchero singers. Jim Griffith photo, March 8, 2003.
The front door of the Jesus Malverde chapel in Culiacán, Sinaloa. Jim Griffith photo, March 18, 2003.
The interior of the Santa Teresita chapel. The picture on the right wall is of Teresa Urrea. Note the magazine article beside the picture. October 20, 2002. Jim Griffith photo.
The chapel dedicated to Teresita on the Santa Teresita Ranch in Arizona's San Pedro River Valley. October 20, 1982. Jim Griffith photo.
Pan de muerto is a rich egg bread, often formed into round loaves with molded bone shapes.
November 2 is the day on which the dead are remembered and prayed for.
Pan de muerto in human form with molded 'bones'" Nogales, Sonora. Oct. 31, 1984.
Pan de Muerto with molded "bones." Oct. 31, 1984.
White graves with turquoise crosses and marigold borders. Panteon Nacional, Nogales, Sonora. November 3, 1983
Graves in Pantéon Nacional, Nogales, Sonora, November, 1993.
The duendes I have heard about are mischievous beings who play tricks on people.
Mal de ojo (the evil eye) can be accidentally transmitted by looking admiringly at a person.
As long as I’m in a bookish mode, I might as well introduce you to another one.
A new book has come along that simply has to be mentioned here.
Let’s hit some highlights of the rest of the weekend.
Experience many aspects of the traditional cultures that call Tucson “home.”
A cabalgada visiting the Fiesta of San Francisco in Magdalena, Sonora.
There’s a new kid on our folklife block. It's the Southwest Folklife Alliance.
Students at the 2013 field School and an interested horse watch a coffee roasting demonstration by Ramona Ochoa in Las Delicias, in the Rio Sonora Valley. June, 2013, Jim Griffith photo.
Folklorists study the informal aspects of the culture of human communities.
Members of the Nolic band after the All-O'odham Fiddle Band Contest, at the Wa:k Pow-wow, with San Xavier Mission in the background.
Let’s take a look at the reclining statue of San Francisco Xavier.
The interior of the church at Oquitoa. The statue of San Antonio holding the Christ Child is second from the top, over the altar. The two life-sized colonial statues at left were mentioned in an earlier blog.
At some time around 1850 the village of Oquitoa was under attack.