Anales de Tepoztlán
The Portada de Semillas de Tepoztlán in 2004

 

The Seed Portal at the Parish of the Nativity;

A Majestic and Imposing Handcrafted Offering


Tepoztlan is celebrating its patronal festival. This year the vendors and artisans of Tepoztlan are once again showing local and foreign visitors this marvelous work which they have been creating for 11 years now: the Seed Portal which this year expresses prehispanic beliefs and customs on one side and the those of Catholicism.

The Seed portal of the Natividad Parish is recreated and transformed every year with more than sixty kinds of seeds from this region which, this time, in their various forms, sizes, and colors, display two ceremonies or rituals. One is prehispanic and the other Eucharistic; without any doubt two forms of showing faith and belief in "something" or in "someone".

THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PORTAL: And offering to the Gods.

On the lower left, one can appreciate human sacrifice, one of the most prominent characteristics of prehispanic Mexican ritual. Understandings about the destiny of the dead make it more understandable.

During ceremonies, the waqy in which future sacrificial victims were treated, and the way in which they were sacrificed, clearly indicate that they were identified with the deity to whom they were offered, or that they were destined to join the host of minor gods who served that god. The future sacrificial victims were costumed like the gods to whom they were to be offered and received their name.

During a time that could be a year or only the actual day of the ceremony, they were treated as thought they were the godf they represented. They were given the respect due a god, were feasted, and were beseeched for favors. Their sacrifical death and the manner in which their remains were disposed of, symbolized their destiny of joining the devinities.

Extracting the victim's heart was the common practice because the heart was the locus of the soul. The sacrificing priest removed from a captive the heart which was destined for the sun and raised it in his hands, direct it toward that star. The hearts of those sacrificed to the gods of rain and of water were cast into a whirlpool in the lake where they rapidly disappeared.

Related to the practice of human sacrifice was the idea that the victims, and above all their heart and blood, nourished the god.

STANDING ON THE UPPER LEFT SIDE

Here one can see Ometochtl, one of the 400 gods of drunkeness. The first inhabitants of Tepoztlan honored him with ceremonies.

Above is Tepuztécatl, God of Tepoztlan. According to legend he was a tlatoani, a great lord and representative of the people of Tepoztlan. Seeing neighboring peoples falling to the encroaching Spanish colonization, he had the wisdom and foresight to not violently resist the Spanish armies. Thus, on September 8, he decided to be baptized and convert to Catholocism with the intention that his subjects would follow his example, in this way avoiding bloodshed and the destruction of their customs.

ABOVE, TO THE LEFT AND RIGHT

Here are the four lords, of Cuernavaca, Yautepec, Oaxtepec, and Tlayacapan who were opposed to the conversion of Tepuztécatl and who came to demand that he recant, furious with him for having abandoned their ancient gods and for having allowed the distruction of the idol of their god, Ometochtli. Tepuztécatl succeeded in convincing them and they were baptized and therefore also avoided the destruction of their kingdoms.

AT THE TOP

The jaguar represents the day and the majestic eagle the night. At the center is the Virgin of the Nativity, the mother of God.

STANDING ON THE UPPER RIGHT

Here we find Fr. Domingo de la Anunciación who began to teach the doctrines of Jesus Christ in 1536. He was charged with convincing Tepuztécatl to abandon the worship of Ometochtli and instead to venerate Jesus Christ and his blessed mother, Mary.

ON THE LOWER RIGHT

If the reevaluation of the prehispanic past and its incorporation - once reshaped - into the Baroque culture of New Spain was a necessary foundation for its sustenance, so too, and very primordially, was religion.

"The good tree is known by its fruit" and so too godliness may be a guarantee of its goodness. A world, moreover, where the boundary between reality and fantasy is so tenuous as to easily disappear, accepting with few problems the presence of miracles and the supernatural. This is how the eucaristic ritual is brought about.

Really it is a matter of Chritian communion in which, like our ancestors, we ask the favor of God while taking the bread and wine.

We also can appreciate Carnival which is part of the Lenten umbilical cord and, on the other hand, the fiestas with brass bands which give enliven and highlight our religious ceremonies, just as do our bullfights and cockfights.

Our new Seed Portal shows us, and will continue doing during the year that it decorates the facade of the Church of the Nativity, is that without any doubt whatsoever, is the past and the present in our culture.


PARTICIPANTS

UNIÓN DE COMERCIANTES DE AV.REVOLUCIÓN

UNIÓN DE COMERCIANTES LADO NORTE

UNIÓN DE COMERCIANTES TIANQUIZTLI

UNIÓN DE COMERCIANTES EXPLANADA DEL MERCADO

UNIÓN DE COMERCIANTES EXPLANADA FRENTE A PRESIDENCIA MPAL.

 

DESIGNER OF THE PORTADA:

Arq. Arturo Demasa Ortiz

SUPERVISION OF THE SELECION AND GLUING OF THE SEEDS

Rafael Carrillo Campos

 

H. AYUNTAMIENTO CONSTITUCIONA DE TEPOZTLÁN MORELOS 2003-2006
Trabajo, honradez, y decisión