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Women and men as cosmic co-bearers at Oaxtepec, Mexico, about 1553

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the evangelization and acculturation of Mexico. The founders of the three mendicant orders of friars that were involved in the sixteenth century proselytization of Mexico, Augustine, Dominic, Francis were thus equated with the princes of the apostles as their successors, which in turn mean that the Christian mission in Mexico was intended to be seen as apostolic. The attitude toward women was relatively more positive and empowering in indigenous Mexico both before and after the conquest than it was in the minds of the Dominican friars who supervised the construction and decoration of the Oaxtepec monastery. Autochthonous pressure toward the recognition of a powerful role for women resulted in concessions toward femininity via the Oaxtepec cloister piers that the Dominican friars did not permit in other artistic commissions of the time in Mexico or Europe.

Keywords: Europe; Mexico; Oaxtepec monastery



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