Winter 1946 • Vol. VIII No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1946 |

Pre-Hispanic Quota in Mexican Murals

In times of unrest the Indian quota shoots upwards, more for a symbolical pennant than as a true racial claim. For Mexicans bloods are so thoroughly churned that Hidalgo, a Spaniard, upholds in history Indian rights, while Diaz, a Mixtec, personifies the oppression. But cowed, triumphant or just uninterested, the Indian remains a potent stylistic factor. The Roman Church soon acquires in Mexico a native tang, paper rosettes, sacred dances; and self-tortures creep as vines over the rock-old dogma. Heaven nods approval. Not only does the Guadalupe appear on a strictly Indian straw tilma, but averted face and joined hands, dark against the ashes of roses of the robe and the ash-blue of the mantle are unmistakably Indian flesh—cinnamon hues waning to olive. In 1810 Hidalgo pitted the humbly dressed Indian Virgin against the Spanish One, doll-like, dolled up in a stiff cone of gold-heavy brocade. Minus its common denominator—Our Lady—the clean statement that remains already c

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