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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mexican Crosses. Alfajayucan: the atrium cross

In our previous post we looked at the architecture and murals of San Martín Alfajayucan, Hidalgo. Here we describe its magnificent atrium cross.  
   Now mounted on a pedestal in the center of the cloister patio, the Alfajayucan cross is chiseled from dark red volcanic tezontle and densely carved on all sides with the symbols of Christ's Passion in flat relief. 
Alfajayucan, atrium cross, side one
On both faces, for example, the intricately sculpted disk at the crossing represents a stylized crown of thorns. Other instruments of the Passion appear along either arm and down the shaft. 
   On one side, a knife, nails and rows of silver coins stand out along the arms while on the shaft, a large cockerel perches atop an elongated, fluted column above a chalice and host. A tiny bleeding wound is carved below.
Alfajayucan, atrium cross, side two
On the reverse face, along the right arm a metal tipped scourge dominates, with a lantern squeezed in at the end. A sideways tunic appears on the left side. Squared bunches of foliage terminate both arms. 
   A garlanded, crossed spear and reed are prominently displayed on the shaft below a trio of detailed, square dice. Below one arm are carved a ladder and corn plant. 
   An ornamental INRI plaque inscribed on both sides caps the cross. Altogether an outstanding example of a sculpted colonial cross in this region of finely carved colonial stone crosses.
text © 2016 Richard D. Perry
color images courtesy of Niccolò Brooker
please review our earlier posts on Mexican crosses: TepeapulcoCuitzeoActopanCharapanBucareli/El Pueblito; TepoztlanUruapanCholulaCajititlanCoyoacanAxotlaChimalistacMixcoacHuipulcoSanto Tomás AjuscoSan Pedro MartirAtoyacCapachoHuandacareoHuangoHuaniqueoCorupo

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