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Christmas in the Missions of Northern New Spain

  • Kristin Dutcher Mann (a1)


In 1982, native historian Joe Sando vividly described the Christmas season at Jémez Pueblo in northern New Mexico. Throughout the pueblo, figures of the Christ Child lay on display in homes in prominent, specially-decorated areas representing the stable in Bethlehem. During his childhood, Sando remembered that Hemish families roasted corn in their fireplaces, while elders drew pictures of wild game animals and birds, as well as important crops, on the wall next to the fireplace, in hopes that the birth of Christ would also result in the birth of the animals and plants drawn on the wall. In Jémez today, although the roasting of corn and drawings on the fireplace walls have been replaced by the exchange of gifts and watching television, some seasonal customs continue. Pine logs for communal bonfires rest neatly in square piles in front of each home. Christmas Eve bonfires attract the newborn Infant Jesus, and children gleefully play and dance around them. When the fires die out, the Hemish return to their homes to await midnight mass. After mass at the church, worshipers follow the newborn Infant in procession through the community. The next morning, as the first rays of daylight become visible in the east, animal dancers appear on the hilly skyline to the east and southwest. By the time the sun leaves the eastern horizon, the animals have arrived in the village, gathering in front of the drummers, who sing welcoming songs. The people arrive to welcome the animals, who process to the plaza, where they dance all day.

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1. Joc, S. Sando, Nee Hemish: A History of Jémez Pueblo (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982), pp. 218219.

2. Many excellent studies have explored racial identification and ethnicity in the borderlands and Latin America in the colonial and national periods, including Matthew, Restali, ed. Beyond Black and Red: African-Native Relations in Colonial Latin America (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005), Steve, J. Stern, Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), David, Gutiérrez, Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), Martha, Menchaca, Recovering History: Constructing Race: The Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001).

3. Edward Spicer identified groups that survived beyond the colonial period as “cultural enclaves” and “enduring peoples.” Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533–1960 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1962). For more recent discussions of the factors that contributed to these cultural changes in northern New Spain, see Cynthia, Radding, Wandering Peoples: Colonialism, Ethnic Spaces, and Ecological Frontiers in Northwestern Mexico, 1700–1850 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997), and Susan, M. Deeds, Defiance and Deference in Mexico’s Colonial North: Indians under Spanish Rule in Nueva Vizcaya (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003).

4. Some of the problem is related to the “loaded” nature of each term. Both syncretism and hybridity may be identified by participants in and observers of ritual and material culture. I understand syncretism broadly as the combination of different beliefs, practices, or forms that occurs when multiple cultural groups interact. On syncretism, see Jeanette, Favrot Peterson, The Paradise Garden Murals of Malinalco, introduction, and Sidney, M. Greenfield and Droogers, André, eds., Reinventing Relgions: Syncretism and Transformation in Africa and the Americas (Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, 2001). Hybridity, a term which acknowledges the “mixed descendancy of objects and practices,” can be problematic because it assumes one European, or colonial practice or set of beliefs, in opposition a monolithic non–European practice or set of beliefs. See Carolyn, Dean and Leibsohn, Dana, “Hybridity and Its Discontents: Considering Visual Culture İn Colonial Spanish America,” Colonial Latin American Rcview 12:1 (2003), pp. 535. As Dean and Leibsohn point out, twenty–first–century observers often find hybridity (or syncretism) in descriptions that historical actors did not identify as remarkable.

5. Literature on the effects of cross-cultural contact on music, dance, art, and ritual is extensive and generally employs models such as syncretism or hybridity in order to explain the processes and outcomes of interaction.

6. See, for example, Jane, C. Desmond, “Embodying Difference: Issues in Dance and Cultural Studies,” Cultural Critique 261 (Winter 1993–1994), pp. 3363.

7. Christmas was celebrated by the 4th century, and coincided with the winter solstice—December 25 on the Julian calendar. The late Roman Empire’s heliocentric religion also included a festival for the return of the Sol invictus. Roll, S.K., “Christmas,” New Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 3 (Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2003), pp. 551557.

8. Stephen, Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996); Bruce, David Forbes, Christmas: A Candid History. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).

9. Charito, Calvachi Wakefield, Natividad Latinoamericano, 2nd rev. ed. (Lancaster, Penn: Latin American Creations Publications, 1999).

10. For example, Robert, Stevenson, “Mexico City Cathedral Music: 1600–1750,” The Americas 21:2 (Oct. 1964), pp. 111135 and Christmas Music from Baroque Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), pp. 111–135, and Carlos, Miró-Cortez, “The Nativity in Iquiquc, Chile. The Christmas Carols of the Fraternities of Las Cuyacas and PastorasStudia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 18 (1976), pp. 81152.

11. Linda, A. Curcio, “Saints, Sovereignty and Spectacle in Colonial Mexico,” Ph.D. dissertation, Tulane University, 1993; Linda, Curcio-Nagy, “Giants and Gypsies: Corpus Christi in Colonial Mexico City,” Rituals of Rule, Rituals of Resistance, ed. William, Beezley, Martin, Cheryl English, and French, William (Wilmington, N. Carolina: SR Books, 1994); Frances, L. Ramos, “Succession and Death: Royal Ceremonies in Colonial Puebla,” The Americas 60:2 (2003), pp. 185215.

12. For an overview of the medieval Christmas liturgy, see Buxton, R.F., “Christmas,” New Westminster Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship, Davies, J.G., ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986), p. 171. See also Augustine, Thompson, Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125–1325 (University Park, Penn: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005), pp. 275277.

13. The musical definition of trope is an addition or embellishment of the text of the Mass or Divine Office. See William, L. Smolden, The Music of the Medieval Church Dramas (London: Oxford University Press, 1980), and Fernando, Lázaro Carreter, Teatro Medieval (Valencia: Castalia, 1958).

14. The gradual (Latin graduale) is an antiphon performed after the epistle, part of the Proper of the Mass. Sequences were embellishments of or additions to the Gradual.

15. Smolden, pp. 215, 229.

16. Thomas of Celano, , St. Francis of Assisi: First and second Ufe of St. Francis, with selections from Treatise on the miracles of Blessed Francis, ed. and trans. Hermann, Placid (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1963), pp. 4244.

17. Richard, H. Hoppin, Medieval Music (London: W.W. Norton, 1978), pp. 5253, 172. Many of these practices continued into the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. See Gustave, Reese, Music in the Renaissance, rev. ed. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1959), p. 491.

18. Kristin, Dutcher Mann, The Power of Song and Dance in the Mission Communities of Northern New Spain (Berkeley: Academy of American Franciscan History, forthcoming), p. 59.

19. Lourdes, Turrent, La conquista musical de Mexico (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1996), p. 40.

20. During Matins, villancicos sometimes replaced Latin responsories, and their spread from Spain throughout Europe and the Spanish empire made them one of the most significant types of music, both sacred and secular, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. See Laird,, Paul R Towards a History of the Spanish Villancico (Warren, Michigan: Harmonie Park Press, 1997), p. 51, Tess, Knighton and Torrente, Alvaro, Devotional Music in the Iberian World, 1450• 1800: The Villancico and Related Genres (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2007), and Isabel, Pope and Laird, Paul R. “Villancico,” New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Sadie, Stanley, vol. 26 (London: Macmillan, 2001), pp. 621628.

21. Franciscans and Domicans used laudi spirituali, or lauda, to teach doctrine. They were popular in European confraternities and in urban areas. See John, Caldwell, “Lauda,” New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Sadie, Stanley, vol. 14 (London: Macmillan, 2001), p. 367.

22. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others did not reject the use of music for worship, but they found fault with dramas and comedies, as well as tropes and sequences. They also advocated that music used during worship should be sung in local languages, not in Latin.

23. Craig, A. Monson, “The Council of Trent Revisited,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 55:1 (Spring 2002), p. 10. Sec also Schroeder, H.J., Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Col, 1950), p. 151.

24. See Louise, Burkhart, “Pious Performances: Christian Pageantry and Native Identity in Early Colonial Mexico,” in Native Traditions in the Postconquest World, Elizabeth, Boone Hill, ed. (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1988), as well as Holy Wednesday: A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996) and Othón, Arróniz, Teatro de evangelización (México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1979) concerning drama. For the visual arts and evangelization, see Jeannette, Peterson, The Paradise Garden Murals of Malinalco: Utopia and Empire in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993) and Serge, Gruzinski, Painting the Conquest: The Mexican Indians and the European Renaissance, trans. Dusinberre, Deke (Paris: Flammarion, 1992).

25. Fray Pedro to the king, 6/23/1557, in Alberto, María Carreño, “Una desconocida carta de fray Pedro de Gante,” Memorias de la Academia Mexicana de la Historia 20:1 (Jan-March 1961), pp. 1620.

26. Charles, Verlinden, “Fray Pedro de Gante y su época,” Revista de historia de America 101 (Jan-June 1986), p. 117.

27. On the relation between Christ and the sun in the early church, see Philip, Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 3rd ed., vol. 3, ch. 77 (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Press, 1996). On representations of Christ as the Sun in sixteenth century New Spain, sec Louise, Burkhart, “The Solar Christ in Nahuad Doctrinal Texts of Early Colonial Mexico,” Ethnohistory 35:3 (1988), pp. 234256.

28. Foster, E.A., Motolinia’s History of the Indians of New Spain (Berkeley: The Cortés Society, 1950), pp. 8, 52. On the use of festivals, music, and dance for evangelization purposes in Spanish and Portuguese America, see Beth, K. Araccna, “Singing Salvation: Jesuit Musics in Colonial Chile, 1600–1767” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1999); Leonardo, Waisman, “Viva Maria!” La música para la virgen en las misiones de Chiquitos,” Latin American Music Review 13:2 (Autumn-Winter 1992), pp. 213225; Bernardo, Illari, “Presencia guaraní en la música de las misiones,” Revista de musicològica 16:4 (1993), pp. 2126–2132; Paulo, Castagna, “The Use of Music by the Jesuits in the Conversion of the Indians of Brazil,” in The Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences and the Arts, 1540–1773, ed. O’Malley, John W. Gauvin Alexander Bailey, S.J., Harris, Steven J. and Frank Kennedy, T. S.J. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000), pp. 641657; and William, J. Summers, “The Jesuits in Manila, 1581–1621: The Role of Music in Rite, Ritual, and Spectacle,” in the same volume, pp. 659679.

29. See Bernardino, de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: Book 2, the Ceremonies, trans. Anderson, Arthur J.O. and Dibble, Charles E. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1981), Elizabeth, H. Boone, “Incarnations of the Aztec Supernatural: the Image of Huitzilopochtli in Mexico and Europe,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, new series, 79:2 (1989), pp. 47, 34–37.

30. Carlos, Jáuregui, “Saturnal cannibal: fronteras, reflejos, y paradojas en la narrativa sobre el antropófago,” Revista de crítica literaria latinoamericana 26:51 (2000), pp. 2627.

31. On Marian images produced by indigenous artists, see Jeanette, Favrot Peterson, “Creating the Virgin of Guadalupe: The Godi, the Artist, and Sources İn Sixteenth Century New Spain,” The Americas 61:4 (2005), pp. 573574, 583.

32. On the cantares mexicanos, see John, Bicrhorst, ed. and trans. A Nahuatl-English Dictionary and Concordance to the Cantares Mexicanos (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985), p. 95, Frances, Kartunnen and Lockhart, James, “La estructura de la poesía náhuatl vista por sus variants,” Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 14 (1980), pp. 1564, Gary, Tomlinson, The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contact (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 60.

33. See the work of Miguel, Léon-Portilla, including Native Mesoamerican Spirituality. (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), pp. 3840.

34. For Franco, sec Eloy, Cruz, “De como una letra hace la diferencia: las obras en Náhuatl atribuidas a Don Hernando Franco,” Estudios Cultura Náhuatl 32 (2001), pp. 257291; for the villancicos of Padilla and Fernandez see Robert, Murrell Stevenson, Christmas Music from Baroque Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974). Musicologist Drew Davies has argued that elements in seventeenth–century villancicos were actually imagined representations of ethnic music and dance, particularly in the subgenre of villancico termed negrillo. “The Italianized Frontier: Music at Durango Cathedral, Español Culture, and the Aesthetics of Devotion in Eighteenth–Century New Spain,” Ph.D. Dissertation: University of Chicago, 2006.

35. Cartas anuas de 1611, 1612,1613, cited in Francisco, Zambrano, Diccionario bio-bibliográfica dela Compañía de Jesús en México, vol. 4 (México: Editorial Tradición, 1977), pp. 417, 431, 453, and Mariano, Cuevas, Historia de la igelsia en Mexico, 4 volumes (El Paso: Editorial Revista Católica, 1928), p. 336.

36. Andrés Pérez, de Ribas, History of the Triumphs of Our Holy Faith, trans. Reff, Daniel T. Ahern, Maureen, and Danford, Richard K. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999), book 3, chapter 12, p. 225. For a discussion of this event, see Marco Antonio, Borboa Trasvina, “La conquista de la Provincia de Sinaloa y la evangelización de los indios Zuaques de Mochicahuİ,” Ra Ximhai 3:2 (May-August 2007), pp. 338340.

37. See Maureen, Ahern, “Martyrs and Idols: Performing Ritual Warfare on Early Missionary Frontiers in the Northwest,” in Religion in New Spain, ed. Schroeder, Susan and Poole, Stafford (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007), p. 292, and Cynthia, Radding, “Cultural Boundaries between Adaptation and Defiance: The Mission Communities of Northwestern New Spain,” in Griffiths, Nicholas and Cervantes, Fernando, eds., Spiritual Encounters: Interactions between Christianity and Native Religions in Colonial America (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999), pp. 116118.

38. Pérez, de Ribas, History of the Triumphs of Our Holy Faith, book 11, chapter 10, pp. 669670.

39. William, B. Griffen, Culture Change and Shifting Population in Northern Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1969), p. 123.

40. Pérez de Ribas, ibid., and Francisco, Zambrano, Diccionario bio-bibliográfica de la Compania de Jesús en México, vol. 6 (México: Editorial Tradición, 1977), pp. 480481.

41. The Jesuit annual letter from 1615 stated that children at a visita of San Ignacio del Zape learned to chant the Mass by memory in only one year. 1615 ARSI, prov. Mex. vol. 15, fol. 26v, Vatican Film Library, St. Louis University, roll 140.

42. For example, Ortiz Zapata’s report from 1678 lists instruments such as clarins, chirimías, bajones, harps, and guitars at Santa Cruz de Topia, San Lorenzo de Guepaca, San Francisco Xavier Arevechİ, Nuestra Señora de la Concepción Movas, San José de Mátape, San Miguel de Oposura, Bavispe, Asunción Arispe, Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Sahuaripa, San Andrés Conicari, San Francisco Xavier Batuco, and groups of singers at several of these missions. See AGN Misiones, leg. 26, transcribed in Documentos para la historia de mexico, serie 4, vol III.

43. Carta anua de 1611, in González R., ibid., pp. 165–166.

44. José Pascual to Padre Provincial, 1651. AGN Historia vol. 19, fol. 203v–204v.

45. Cartas anuas de 1608, 1611 and 1613, in Luis, Gonzalez Rodríguez, ed. Crónicas de la Sierra Tarahumara (México: Secretaria de Educación Pública, 1987), pp. 148, 160–165, 174–175.

46. On the Tepehuan revolt, and the characteristics of first–generation revolts in the seventeenth century northern Jesuit missions see Deeds, , Defiance and Deference in Mexico’s Colonial North, pp. 3038. See also Charlotte, M. Gradie, The Tepehuan Revolt of 1616: Militarism, Evangelism, and Colonialism in the Seventeenth Century (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2000).

47. Bernabe Francisco de Gutiérrez to P.P. Francisco Ximenez, 1676, AGN Misiones vol. 26, f. 220.

48. See, for example, carta anua 1608, in Luís, Gonzalez Rodríguez, ed. Crónicas de la Sierra Tarabumara (Mexico: Secretaria de Educación Pública, 1987), pp. 161162.

49. Late nineteenth-century and early twentieth–century ethnographies such as Walter Fewkes, J. “The Winter Solstice Ceremony at Walpi,” American Anthropologist 11:4 (April 1898), pp. 101115, and Erna, Fergusson, Dancing Gods: Indian Ceremonials of Arizona and New Mexico (1931), detail some of these dances.

50. There have been many excellent works on the matachines dances of New Mexico. For example, see Flavia, Waters Champe, The Matachines Dance of the Upper Rio Grande: History, Music, and Choreography (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983); Sylvia, Rodríguez, The Matachines Dance: Ritual, Symbolism, and Interethnic Relations in the Upper Río Grande Valley (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996); Brenda, Rae Romero, “The Matachines Music and Dance in San Juan Pueblo and Alcalde, New Mexico: Context and Meanings,” D.M.A. dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 1993. These dances were not limited to New Mexico, although they were particularly associated with preparation for Christmas in eighteenth century New Mexico. On matachines dances in northern Mexico, see Jesus, Jáuregui and Carlo, Bonfiglioli, Las danzas de conquista (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1996); and Cario, Bonfiglioli, fariseos y matachines en la Sierra Tarahumara (México: Instituto Nacional Indigenista, 1995). See Ramón, Gutiérrez, When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality and Power in New Mexico, 1500–1846 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991), p. 84.

51. Bishop Crespo’s report from 1730, reprinted in Eleanor, Adams, ed., Bishop Tamarôn’s Visitation of New Mexico, 1760 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1954), pp. 102103, expressed contemptuous criticism towards Franciscans for their failure to learn native languages. Bishop Tamarón’s visita report from 1760, and Fray Atanasio Domínguez’s report from 1776 consistently mention the failure of Franciscans, even those who served in an area for an extensive period of time, to learn native languages.

52. On music’s role in identity formation, see Christopher, Small, Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1998), pp. 9798.

53. Francisco Corbera to Father Guardian, 12/27/1694, in Espinosa, éd., pp. 123–124.

54. Bishop Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, visita report, San Lorenzo de Picuris, 1776, in Adams, , ed. The Missions of New Mexico, p. 95.

55. On the musical abilities of he californios, see Maynard, Geiger and Meighan, Clement, As the Padres Saw Them: California Indian Life and Customs as Reported by the Franciscan Missionaries, 1813–1815 (Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Mission Library, 1976), esp. pp. 3637, 133–136. On the extensive music of the California missions, see Margaret, Crouch, “An Annotated Bibliography and Commentary Concerning Mission Music of Alta California from 1769 to 1834: In Honor of the American Bicentennial,” Current Mttsicology 22 (1976), pp. 8899 and William, J. Summers, “Spanish Music in California, 1769–1840, a Reassessment,” in Report of the Twelfth Congress of the International Musicological Society, Berkeley, 1977. Heartz, Daniel and Wade, Bonnie, eds. (Kassel: Barenreiter-Verlag, 1981), pp. 360380.

56. William, J. Summers, “Sancho: Alta California’s Preeminent Musician” in Juan Bautista Sancho: Pioneer Composer of California (Palma, Mallorca: Universitat de les Ules Balears, 2007), pp. 69, 76–77.

57. Halpin, p. 39

58. Margaret, Cayward, “A Pastorela from 18th-century Alta California,” paper presented at Encuentros/Encounters 2009: Mission Music of California, January 30, 2009, University of California, Riverside.

59. Cayward identified four pastorela scripts which seem to come from a common source: two from the De la Guerra Collection at the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library, Qttaderno de Lizardo, BANC MSS 68/115c, in the Pio Pico papers at the Bancroft Library, and fragments of a script in the Domingo Carillo papers, BANC MSS C–B 72. A pastorela song from the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library, identified by Cayward, concludes, “Let’s go, brother shepherds, to worship the redeemer.”

60. Fray Isidro Felix, de Espinosa, Crónica de los Colegios de Propaganda Fide de la Nueva España, Lino, Gomez Canedo, ed. (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1964), pp. 594595. The alabado contains one verse each devoted to Mary and Joseph.

61. See, for example, Howard, Benoist and Flores, Eva Maria, eds. Documents Relating to the Old Spanish Missions of Texas: Volume I: Guidelines for a Texas Mission: Instructions for the Missionary of Mission Concepción in San Antonio (San Antonio: Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Center) (1787), 5; and Antonio de los Reyes to the king, AGI Guadalajara 586, 2 sept 1774. f/ 39v–40. On the importance of the alabado in restructuring daily schedules, see Kristin, Dutcher Mann, The Power of Song Missions of Northern New Spain, (Ph.D. dissertation, Northern Arizona University, 2002), chapter 4.

62. On religious artwork in New Spain, see Clara, Bargellini, “Stars in the Sea of the Church: the Indian in Eighteenth-Century New Spanish Painting,” The Arts in Latin America, 1492–1820, ed. Rishel, Joseph J. and Stratton, Suzanne (New Haven: Yale University Press1, 2006), and Gauvin, Bailey, Art on the Jesuit Missions in Asia and Latin America, 1542–1773 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999). On the use of artwork to convey doctrine in Alta California, and its reception among indigenous converts, see Steven, Hackel, Children of Coyote, pp. 148152. See also Robert, H. Jackson, “Visual Representations of Religious Conversion in Spanish American Missions,” Boletin 25:2 (2008), pp. 530 and Susan, Anderson Kerry, “Preliminary Observations on Angels in Religious Art in New Spain,” Boltetin 25:2 (2008), pp. 3148.

63. Bishop Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, visita report, Santa Cruz de la Cañada, 1776, in Adams, , ed. The Missions of New Mexico, pp. 7576, 79.

64. Howard, Benoist and Flores, Eva Maria, eds. Documents Relating To The Old Spanish Missions Of Texas: Volume I: Guidelines For A Texas Mission: Instructions For The Missionary Of Mission Concepción In San Antonio (San Antonio: Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Center), p. 7.

65. Biography of Padre Vicente Escalera, η.d., Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Collection, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas (OSMHRC) Archivo del Colegio de Zacatecas reel 16, fr. 1421–1423.

66. Benoist, and Benoist, Flores, eds., Instructions for the Missionary, p. 3.

67. 1772 inventory, Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Antonio, OSMHRC Archivo del Colegio de Querétaro reel 10, fr. 4271–4294.

68. Benoist, and Flores, , eds., Instructions for the Missionary, pp. 35, 37.

69. See Stern, , “Fray Iñigo de Mendoza and Medieval Dramatic Ritual,” p. 233.

70. Fray Isidro Felix, de Espinosa, Crónica de los Colegios de Propaganda Fide de la Nueva España, Cañedo, Lino Gomez, ed. (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1964), p. 755.

71. Benoist, and Flores, , eds., Instructions for the Missionary, pp. 17, 35. Elsewhere in this document, the missionary warns that Indian women will try to leave the mission to gather nuts, berries, and fruits of cactus, along with camotes (43). He also advises that they will continually ask for sweets from the missionary (17). By controlling the time at which these items were distributed or available to the wider community, Franciscans could ensure broad participation in celebrations for feast days, and quickly encourage Indians to adopt the Christian calendar.

72. For a similar response among Tarahumara in the eighteenth century, see William, Merrill, “Conversion and Colonialism in Northern Mexico: The Tarahumara Response to the Jesuit Mission Program, 1601–1767,” in Conversion to Christianity: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives on a Great Transformation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), p. 151.

73. Geoffrey Baker found that Christmas was the most important musical event of the year İn the convents and monasteries of colonial Cuzco, Imposing Harmony: Music and Society in Colonial Cuzco (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008), p. 16. In metropolitan areas of New Spain, Corpus Christi seems to have had particular importance. On celebrations for Corpus Christi in the Spanish empire, see Carolyn, Dean, Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ: Corpus Christi in Colonial Cuzco, Peru (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999), David, P. Cahili, “Popular Religion and Appropriation: The Example of Corpus Christi in Eighteenth-Century Cuzco,” Latin American Research Review 31:2 (1996), pp. 67110, and Linda, Curcİo–Nagy, “Giants and Gypsies: Corpus Christi İn Colonial Mexico City” in Rituals of Rule, Rituals of Resistance: Public Celebrations and Popular Culture in Colonial Mexico (Boston: Rowman & Litdefield, 1994), pp. 126. For Corpus Christi in northern missions, see Kristin, Dutcher Mann, “The Power of Song in the Missions of Northern New Spain,” (Ph.D. dissertation, Northern Arizona University, 2002), chapter 5.

74. There are numerous references to dances as part of Christmas in northern missions throughout the colonial period. For Nueva Vizcaya, see Diccionario Bio-Bibliqgráfica vol. 6, pp. 148–149 (1598); for Baja California, see Fray Manuel, de la Vega, Relacion de la descubrimiento y conquista de las Californias, Biblitoeca Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Fondo Franciscano (BNAH/FF) vol. 68, f. 24v (1699) and Constantin, Bayle, Misión de la Baja California, p. 101. For the Pimería Alta (1704), Herbert, Eugene Bolton, Kino’s Diary of the Anza Expedition, pp. 110111. For New Mexico, (1694) Espinosa, Cronica Apostolica y seraphica de todos los colegios de propaganda fide de esta nueva españa, Mexico, Lino Gómiz Cañedo, ed, pp. 123–124. For Texas (1767) Gaspar José Soli’s diary, OSMHRC Archivo del Colegio de Querétaro reel 10, fr. 4271–4294.

75. On these characteristics in European Renaissance dance, see Jennifer, Nevile, “;Dance and the Garden: Music and Static Choreography in Renaissance Europe,” Renaissance Quarterly 52:3 (Autumn 1999), p. 806.

76. Stanely L. Robe aruged this about the Los Pastores folk dramas in nineteenth and early twentieth century New Mexico in “The Relationship of‘Los Pastores’ to Other Spanish-American Folk-Drama,” Western Folklore 16:4 (October 1957), p. 285.

77. Fray Manuel de la Vega, Relación de la descubrimiento y conquista de las Californias , Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Fondo Franciscano (BNAH/FF) vol. 68, f. 12r. (1698); f. 23v (1699).

78. Barbastro, “Plática del Nacimiento de Jesuchristo, Año de 1792,” in Cynthia, Radding, “Crosses, Caves, and Matachinis: Divergent Appropriations of Catholic Discourse in Northwestern New Spain,” The Americas 55:2 (October 1998), pp. 188189.

79. Mary, MacGregor-Villarreal, “Celebrating Las Posadas in Los Angeles,” Western Folklore, 39:2 (April 1980), 71105, and Stanley, Brandes, “The Posadas in Tzintzuntzan: Structure and Sentiment in a Mexican Christmas Festival,” The Journal of American Folklore 96:381 (Jul.-Sept. 1983), pp. 259280.

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Christmas in the Missions of Northern New Spain

  • Kristin Dutcher Mann (a1)


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