This essay presumes the baroque texture of colonial Mexico in its multiple styles, voices, and peoples differentiated by race, ethnicity, locale, culture, place of origin, position, wealth, and clientele. It also presumes, using Marina S. Brownlee's words, a “selfreflective and distorting” tendency of baroque societies to spin off countercurrents and transpositions of dominant culture. “Profusion of detail, hierarchy, and contrast,” Irving Leonard's well traveled characterization of the Mexican baroque, could not be confined easily to fixed orderings and orthodoxies. From the first, in fact, the project to order the colony created more rather than less diversity by “introduc[ing] new, upsetting influences.” These influences—new cultural valuations, “a new, exclusive religion, and new laws and procedures”— may have “unified a congeries of independent states and empires.” But they also combined in different ways, rates, and degrees with pre-existing and newly emerging political and cultural forms. Not as a uniform flood plain but as diverse sedimentations, the colony was formed by back-eddies and cross currents more than a single stream.