Folding Screen with Indian Wedding and Flying Pole (Biombo con desposorio indígena y palo volador)

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Folding Screen with Indian Wedding and Flying Pole (Biombo con desposorio indígena y palo volador)

Mexico, circa 1690
Furnishings; Furniture
Oil on canvas
Overall: 66 x 120 in. (167.64 x 304.8 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by the Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art Deaccession Fund (M.2005.54)
Currently on public view:
Art of the Americas Building, floor 4 MAP IT
Art of the Americas Building, floor 4

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Curator Notes

The folding screen (Sp. biombo) depicts an Indian celebration in a village, probably Santa Anita Ixtacalco, a famous destination in the environs of Mexico City....
The folding screen (Sp. biombo) depicts an Indian celebration in a village, probably Santa Anita Ixtacalco, a famous destination in the environs of Mexico City. On the right, the newlywed Indian couple leaves the church. A number of figures participate in pre-Columbian games that continued to be played in colonial times. Several dancers in lavish costumes perform a mitote (or Moctezuma dance), imitating the dance of the Aztec king. In the center, figures dangle from a flying pole (palo volador) and to the left, an Indian juggles a log with his feet before the dazzled crowd. The screen, which is missing two panels, satisfied European curiosity about the New World. It also proved that the conversion of the natives had been successful by showing them partaking in one of the most important Christian sacraments-marriage. Ilona Katzew, 2008
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