San José de Gracia and its old Franciscan mission
Arts of Colonial Mexico and has written a wonderful book called Blue Lakes and Silver Cities. Anyone visiting the states of Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato or Querétaro should pick up a copy. Richard believes this is a Franciscan church, part of a small mission complex sited in the pueblo of San José de Gracia. The town, also known as San José Ocumicho, has only 558 inhabitants, living in 112 households. We discovered it on the way to the larger pueblo of Ocumicho, which was one of our intended destinations on this day trip.
original Spanish "hospitals" were not intended for medical purposes, but to offer shelter, food, and religious services to pilgrims. After all, hospital is the root word for hospitality. As the Spanish Church began establishing missions in the New World, hospitals were seen as a conversion mechanisms. The friars acted as health care providers in order to supplant their main rivals, the native shamans. Thus, the focus of the mission hospitals increasingly became medical care.
Copal incense had been used for centuries by pre-hispanic civilisations in their religious rites. Since incense had long been used in Catholic religious rites, copal was quickly adopted by evangelising friars. Copal comes from the resin of the copal tree (Protium copal) and has an aromatic but slightly acrid scent.
style originated in Mexico City in the 1930s. when an artist named Pedro Linares created the first examples based on a dream. While sick with a fever, he hallucinated a forest filled with strange, unknown animals. All were crying out "alebrije!", a word which has no meaning in Spanish. He dubbed the creatures alebrijes and began to model them in cardboard and paper maché. His work became popular and the craze for alebrijes spread, eventually reaching the remote village of Ocumicho.
This completes Part 6 of my Zamora series. I hope you have enjoyed it and, if so, please leave any comments or questions in the Comments section below or email me directly. If you have a question, PLEASE leave your email address so that I can respond.
Hasta luego, Jim