Saturday, July 31, 2010
Just when I thought I had taken all of the notes and seen all of the museums I needed to see, Jacques took us to Chapultepec Castle! Chapultepec means "Grasshopper Hill". It was the strategic site for presidents and the military with views of the city from all points above. The tour guide began to talk about the diversity of Mexico. Over 250 million Black slaves were brought to Mexico during the colonial period. They usually intermarried into the cultures, so you don't see a black person per se today in Mexico. However, African skulls were found to be included on the Tzompantli, representing captured prisoners back in the day. There are also "caste paintings" which illustrate the social categories implemented and emphasized by the Spanish based on intermarriage. Today, Mexico is made up of Spanish, Indian, African and Asian peoples.
Mural paintings also have captured the images of mulato warriors and Africans, standing beside Hidalgo and other leaders of freedom movements in Mexico.
I began this journey with a goal in mind to discover the African Diaspora here in Mexico. Yes, I have! Vicente Guerrero, a mulatto, has a state named after him. In additon, I was not able to visit, but found Yanga, Veracruz, a leading producer of sugar cane today, was founded by an African. I have so many ideas now for a curriculum project but I know that these images of Mexico will be included!