Sunday, July 21, 2019

Jalisco. Cuexcomatitlán: the atrium cross

In earlier posts on Jalisco we have looked at colonial churches in the communities bordering Lake Cajititlanwith a special focus on their stone carving—a regional tradition that includes sculpted stone crosses.
Another of these lakeside villages is Cuexcomatitlán (At the Place near the Granary) whose colonial monuments include the parish church of La Purísima and the Antigua Casa de Indias or women’s house—both dating from the 1750s and much restored.
Here, the old atrium cross still survives, mounted on a high base in the churchyard.  Cut from the local pocked limestone, it follows the regional style, with a cross-within-a-cross pattern, intersecting inside a highly stylized, double crown of thorns motif at the axis.  
   Three drilled holes on the extremities of the arms and shaft signify Christ's wounds and allow for the insertion of spikes. The cross sits on a round pedestal faced with shell reliefs. 
The reverse side of the cross is similarly configured, although in a more modest manner. At one time carved stone ball finials were inserted in the holes on the end of either arm. 
text © 2019 Richard D. Perry.  color images courtesy of Niccolo Brooker
other Jalisco crosses: The Crosses of Cajititlan; Santa Cruz de Las Flores; Tuxpan;  San Juan Ocotan; Santa Cruz el Grande; Sayula

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