Sunday, July 22, 2018

Churches of the Yucatan frontier: Sacalaca

We continue our current series of posts on the frontier churches of Yucatán with the former mission at Sacalaca, which now lies across the state line in the present state of Quintana Róo.
Sacalaca in 1984
Purísima Sacalaca, the earlier of two churches here is a typical, smaller colonial church, whose wide triangular front is flanked by small belfries. Torched and abandoned after the 1847 Caste War, it remains roofless and essentially untouched to this day.
   However, some of its architectural ornament and figure sculptures 
still survive, all now considered to be the work of the celebrated Maya stone carver Pascual Estrella, whom we profiled in earlier posts.
The only statue still in place is a monolithic stone figure of the patrona, La Purísima, standing in the center niche atop a pedestal liberally carved with cherubs.
Other former facade sculptures, now in storage, include the headless figure of St. Paul (there is a matching statue of St. Peter) —its vigorous lines accentuating the formidable persona of the saint.
Lifesize reliefs of Adam and Eve, complete with detailed fig leaves, recalling those at Chikindzonot, once flanked the doorway and have also been preserved nearby. These too are attributed to Maestro Estrella, as is his signature carved corbel below the center niche and the spiky, foliated stucco framing of the window and niches.
text © 2018 Richard D. Perry.  images by the author and courtesy of Jürgen Putz

Please visit our other pages on the frontier churches of Yucatán: 
Chemax; Chikindzonot; Ichmul; Sacalaca; Sabán; Peto/Petulillo; Huaymax/X-querol;

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