Posted on June 26, 2009
Pilgrims from Chalma, a town near Mexico City, march back with their Virgin de Guadalupe to place her back in their town’s church.
So a while back I started a project on the Virgen de Guadalupe . . . she is an apparition of the Virgin Mary that appeared on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City shortly after the Spanish ‘conquest’ of Mexico. Her brown skin and eyes and her duality (she appeared on the same hill where Tenotzin was worshiped) has given her an interesting duality and as Mexicans have spread around the world so has she.
Im adding some photos that I’ve gathered while working on this project below with descriptions:
This isn’t all of the content but it’s a start and a lame reason as to why I haven’t been posting anywhere near as regularly. Since reporting is wrapping up this weekend for me, one interview in L.A. and another in Gila Bend, Ariz. I’m excited to start wrapping up this project and preparing for Florida, only five weeks away.
Posted on May 7, 2009
So are you ready to learn about the most awfully painful card game?
No tourists and nearly no worshippers except for a handful nuns and a couple renewing their vows the area was deserted. Most stalls were shut down with no one to sell to because of Mexico City’s action to shut down public places, including areas of worship to help prevent the spread of swine flu or H1N1.
So what do those die hard vendors and taxi drivers around the basilica do when there is no work? They play Castigado!
Estos chavos, made up of a taxi driver, nearby vendors were playing castigado or punished one (of which I could fine no links online):
So how does this work? Well it’s pretty simple, below are a few cards since this game doesn’t use a normal U.S. style card deck.
But it’s pretty simple, you are trying to drop the cards in your hand. Each person places a card down and then whoever placed the lowest card collects the deck. It keeps going until one poor soul . . . during this game it happened to be this guy:
Is stuck with the deck. So now why is this so awful? Well they put the deck in front of him and tell him to select a card without looking. This guy chose something like the 10 King of coins, anyway they start flipping each card and each symbol equals a punishment, done as many times as it is printed on the card, until the card he called appears.
So for example the six of spears means six jabs in the side. This continues until they reached the card the kid called at first. You had to feel sorry for this guy, his card was fourth from last.
Spears = jab in the side
Sword = punch under the chin
and the absolute worst:
Coin = pinch your eyelids (some guys don’t just pinch one eyelid but both at a time)
Of course there was the shoulder punch, and one other, but overall the top three stood out.
Here are some pics of the game before it got crazy:
And here is the after photo I took of him:
Thank goodness there are things to do in this city again . . . I was getting ready to play castigado, join the neighbors for some 9pm karoake last Saturday, or just feel as sad as this little dog looks outside the grocery store:
Posted on May 5, 2009
Visiting the basilica again this morning and then the zocalo . . . Hopefully the last of the swine flu photos
Posted on May 3, 2009
Statue vendors use to photograph pilgrims and visitors with, one of many tucked away since there is no one to seel the photos to.
Today writers Alexis Okeowo and Camilo Smith and I headed out to the Basilica de la Virgen de Guadalupe in the North of the City (Red line Villa-Basilica exit). Because of the H1N1 virus or swine flu the basilica, a place of worship for thousands daily, is holding small masses outdoors and tomorrow will shut its doors completely and only televise one service at 9am.
The virus really has made this city of 20 million plus seem small and slow as a little town.
More stored statues . . . absolutely no one to sell to.
We took a stroll around after the service through the deserted courtyards, after hearing the prayer to help end the pandemic, also listed in this prior post.
Nuns stand in the back of the basilica
The faithful look up to the mantilla of Juan Diego.
Nuns stroll through the basilica.
Church service Saturday afternoon:
And the ride back home . . .
And one last one . . .
La Virgen de Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac hill, where the basilica is built today.
Tomorrow . . . a post on Castigado or Punished . . . most likely one of the most entertaining and disturbing card games I’ve ever seen . . . check back!