Identity, Ritual, and Power in Colonial Puebla
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Arizona Press
Title Page, Copyright
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List of Illustrations
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I arrived in Puebla for the first time in the summer of 1998 and quickly fell in love with the city. The layout of its streets in the pleasing Renaissance-style grid pattern, its numerous eighteenth-century homes with charming inner courtyards, and its seemingly endless number of colonial churches ...
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In 1769, Antonio Basilio de Arteaga y Solórzano, Puebla de los Ángeles’ most senior councilman, unveiled a massive history of the municipal government’s ceremonial obligations. At more than a thousand handwritten pages, the volume contained invaluable information on the responsibilities ...
1. New Spain’s “Second City”
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In 1746, Dominican friar Juan Villa Sánchez described the “second city of the kingdom of New Spain” as “second in dignity, in greatness, in extension, in [the] opulence of [its] factories, in the number of citizens, in nobility, in letters, in governance, and in everything that constitutes the body ...
2. Explaining Monarchy in Early Modern Puebla
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Between 1695 and 1775, poblanos knew of the crowning of four monarchs: Philip V, Luis I (1724), Ferdinand VI (1747 – 59), and Charles III. Puebla’s oath ceremonies, or juras del rey, resembled those held throughout the empire and began with councilmen, indigenous leaders, musicians, and ...
3. A Reception for a Prince
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On August 2, 1766, Visitor General José de Gálvez announced that the incoming viceroy, the Marquis of Croix, would not make the customary stop in Puebla on his way to Mexico City. Since the sixteenth century, Tlaxcala, Puebla, and Mexico City had all sponsored inaugural entrances of ...
4. Universal Religion in a Local Context
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From July 30, 1752, to January 30, 1753, Puebla, along with other cities of the Spanish Empire, celebrated a “holy year of jubilee,” during which the faithful received a plenary indulgence for confessing and receiving the sacrament for six months, for visiting specific churches, and for praying for the ...
5. Power, Solidarity, and Diversity in the City of the Angels
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On September 29, Puebla’s councilmen attended an annual mass in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel, and afterward four aldermen participated in a procession featuring the city’s official effigy of the saint. Councilmen had first commissioned the statue in 1617, and throughout most of the year ...
6. The Industry of Spectacle
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In 1771, the visitor general informed the cabildo of Puebla that from hereafter councilmen would have to send all estimates for public spectacle exceeding 40 pesos to the general treasury for prior approval. Specifically, Gálvez referred to ceremonies that commemorated special occasions, such ...
7. Ritual and Conflict: The Political Implications of Ceremonial Disputes, circa 1700 – 1750
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Good Friday, the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion, constitutes the most solemn day of the Catholic calendar and in eighteenth-century Puebla, municipal councilmen marked the occasion with the ceremony known as the Adoration of the Holy Cross. For this ritual, councilmen and other ...
8. The Ceremonial Expression of Jurisdictional Tension, 1750 – 1775
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Almost five decades after the dispute during the Adoration of the Holy Cross, Puebla’s cathedral witnessed another dramatic display of disunity. Puebla’s cabildo never subsidized the feast day of Santiago (July 25), but it did have an obligation to attend the cathedral’s yearly mass. Because ...
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Public ritual shaped the political culture of eighteenth-century Puebla in a myriad of ways. In early modern cities, people expressed understandings regarding power ritualistically, but ritual did not only reflect power relationships. It also helped to reaffirm hierarchy and strengthen people’s affiliations ...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012