Folding screens, or biombos, were introduced in New Spain by the early seventeenth century. This example depicts an Indigenous wedding amid pre-Hispanic performances. On the right, the newlyweds leave the church, while participants on the left—including Spaniards in typical mid-seventeenth-century clothing—gather outside the bride’s house. Dancers in lavish costumes perform a mitote, a dance with a figure impersonating the Aztec emperor Moteuczoma. A juego de palo (in which a man tosses a log in the air) and an aerial palo volador (flying pole) also mark the festivities. The biombo was likely intended for export to Europe to provide a glimpse of local landmarks and traditions.
From exhibition Archive of the World, 2022 (for more information see the catalogue entry by Ilona Katzew in the accompanying publication, cat. no. 29, pp. 156–62)
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- Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800*** Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 12, 2022 - October 30, 2022