Sunday, October 27, 2019

Missions of Michoacan: the Pareo crosses

San Pedro and its sister village of San Bartolo Pareo are located on the southwestern shore of Lake Patzcuaro.
San Pedro Pareo, facade details
San Pedro Pareo
San Pedro’s folk Plateresque inspired church front boasts a shell encrusted doorway, divided choir window, and a rustic tower studded with a variety of reliefs both sacred and secular: fish, animals, sun, moon, keys & rosettes.
The Atrium Cross
Elevated on a tall pedestal atop a tiered, pyramidal base, this puzzling, idiosyncratic cross is carved with spiky geometrical motifs with little overt religious content. An eroded starburst—possibly a stylized Crown—occupies the crossing, with radiating spikes and what appear to be inverted, rope like arrows.
Small circular indentations in the motifs along the arms, neck and in the middle of the shaft suggest the former placement of stone or obsidian disks— plentiful in this volcanic region.
A long inscription carved around the pedestal with several names is dated June 1770. The reverse of the cross is relatively plain.
San Bartolo Pareo, the hospital chapel
San Bartolo Pareo
San Bartolo, recently renamed Lázaro Cárdenas, retains its former hospital chapel as well as a much altered later colonial main church
Located in a vest pocket garden beside the old hospital chapel, this battered cross is composed of several sections.
   Dated 1619 on the pedestal, it bears no carved reliefs save for the remnants of the full figure of Christ Crucified—an unusual configuration comparable to that of Santiago Charapan, as well as the mutilated cross at nearby Zurumucapeo, although nowhere near its level of craftsmanship.
text, graphics and color images ©1997 & 2019 by Richard D. Perry
Visit some of our earlier posts on the crosses of Michoacán: Charapan; Huiramangaro;

See our earlier posts on Lake Patzcuaro communities: Erongaricuaro; Ihuatzio; Arocutín; Tzintzuntzan; Jaracuaro; Puácuaro; Chapitiro;

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