Monday, July 10, 2023

Mexico. The crosses of Aculco: Santa Ana Matlavat.

 In an earlier series we looked at several carved stone crosses in area churches of Aculco 

In this post we feature a cross at the former 16th century century visita chapel of Santa Ana Matlavat, located a few kilometers north of Aculco.

The cross in question stands atop the gable of the church. Formed from reddish sandstone? the cross is carved with numerous Passion reliefs, including a crown of thorns around the neck and dripping Wounds on the shaft and both arms. A chalice with emerging host, and a worn column with cockerel perched atop? also adorn the shaft, while an ornamental INRI plaque caps the cross.

Because of the location of the cross it is not clear if the reverse side is also carved.

The other item of interest is the row of ten raised dots along the base of the cross. Although their meaning is also unclear, it may be that they may signify the number ten — a reference to the Aztec word for ten (matlactli) possibly part of the original place name or even the 16th century date of the chapel itself.

A second cross tilts precariously atop a stepped pedestal without the atrium opposite the church doorway.

text and images © 2023 Richard D. Perry

based on data from Javier Lara Bayon