Conflicting Essays in scholarship which have been the most engaging research job I have ever done. I have also added, over the years, queries about our "dated" geology with their "computerized" confirmations together with climate changes denied since 1963. The Ten-O'clock News have been telling us to change our clocks for DSL and back again BUT no one as noticed it has been changed, more than a few years ago, from March 31 and October 31, to a week or so earlier or even a week or so later.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Church Named Santa Prisca, Part I

Church of Sta. Prisca
 Taxco de Alarcón, Guerrero, Mexico
          Many of the post-conquest building that were constructed were functional buildings like monastic prisons, palaces for the foreign government, so they could compete in importance with the old rulers of Mesoamerica, and even European style churches for proper adoration of the new euro-christian churches.

          The strange thing about many mission churches is that many had an open area above the altars or near the sides of the churches that were screened from the worshipers below. They were not choir areas. I visited one old hospital in Puebla and discovered that there was such an extension near the back of the chapel. It seemed to be a reasonable explanation since even the sick would have wanted to hear about God and His plans for the after-life.

          It made perfect sense that above the backs of regular worshipers, the space would have not only the sick and ailing, but also their attendants, and a physician or two, since for some, the angel of death might have arrived quite unexpectedly.

         Walking around churches in the town, I found some areas were usually high above the altars, but not always. It made some sense since thundering voices from preachers would rise above the congregation and could easily be heard in the open shielded rooms. Since some areas had beautiful lattice-work screens in front, facing the worshipers, they seemed to be for a feminine audience. Women, were in the congregation below, so why were there women above?

          Hospitals had patients that might have needed emergency care; but ordinary churches did not have that option. One possibility would have been, an ancient version of our current churches. A "crying room" for mothers who wanted their children to hear about God as soon as possible. Such a "crying room" would have the same attributes as the church below, The noise of squalling infants would rise to the ceiling, ard not even be noticed by the congregation below. It seemed to be natural reasons for such separate areas in churches or temples.

          In a town of Taxco de Alacrón in the state of Guerrero, there was also a church with special requirements before any part of the church could be built. Whether it has a "crying room" area of not, I do not know. The church may have been once used for another purpose before the Conquest. Not only is dome over the main altar an indication that this was true, but also Sta. Prisca's name is suspect.

        Nevertheless, a special contingent of financiers demanded certain privileges for their donations of available cash. The syndicate who were supplying the funds for building the church, insisted that the workmen would NEVER be publicly identified. The 'workmen'? That was a new twist to a building requirement.[3]

           It was also agreed that there would be no investigation as to where the money would come from. And the designs of the altars would not be negotiable. The altars? That was even a stranger demand from the financiers. Was it some miracle cure that one or several of the money men experienced, or maybe a difficult birth of one of a child that such a vow; even together with the other conditions, there was no solid evidence as to why the demands were so stringent.

            Usually it is the reverse. Once the design was created, owners then presented their plans to those who might finance the costs. If one group of financiers would decide against the design. Then, it stood to reason was that either the design would be altered or the designers would find another finance company to supply the money.

          The thing that held my attention was the need for special altars in the church?  Such information was never recorded either; the source of the building funding, the names of the workmen and finally, the designs of the altars. How strange.

          One particular altar held my attention. Its description was more than just interesting; it was a nudge to look backwards at my previous research.    

Cupola de la Iglesia de
Santa Prisca, in Taxco de Alarcón,
Guerrero, Mexico
          Not so long ago, I researched the war cry in Mexico using Santiago de Compostela. What was interesting after I went through all the pilgrimage stops along the way, Santiago may have been the Mesoamerican war cry and NOT of the conquering Spaniard's. One can tell what sort of information will turn up when one goes so far afield.

          Another thing that turned up with the pilgrimage route was that Sahagún was not only a early merchandise center for incoming and outgoing ships, but it also was known as a monastery in Spain. So was the Sahagún monastery in Mexico, a Basque holdout before the Conquest? Or was it just a new new from a European site?

          In a cave in Brazil, a wall is covered with what appears to be the Milky Way. On one side of that image is a blazing star about the same shape of the above cupola of the church of Santa Prisca.

          The altar of Nuestra Señora del Pilar (or del Barco) has a multitude of sea shells as its decor. One much refer back to the pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. The general mode of dress for such pilgrims to the site of the Saint included a seashell similar to that of the altar. The pilgrims wore a strange wide-brimmed hat with the front turned up.

             Santiago de Compostela 42° 52’ 30” North 8° 32’ 0” Longitude oeste Symbols are seven stars around chalice Tomb with an eight-pointed star. Again, a star form that is similar to the cave and the cupola of the Church of Santa Prisca.{Encicl, Universal Ilustrada, Volume LIV, p. 247.]

             Come to think of it, there is also a similar star form in Egypt called Sesht.  As I searched Egypt, I not only found a reference back to Mesopotamia, but also to Akkadian, Sumer and Persia on several roll-out seals. So I have decided to do another Blog for Santa Prisca, Part II.    
Barretto, Pierson (2000, 1) Arqueoastroniomia, Cometa, Encke, Phaeton, Rupestre Representiações Rupestres de Cometa em Pernambuco, Membro da Sociedade Astronômica da Recife - SAR. 
Regarding the Cave in Brazil with the Milky Way, as a single leg with a blazing star, said to be 
5, 000 years old. [However, the single spiral of the Galaxy did not appear until after the second run of the comets when they dropped the meteorites onto the land and the ocean floor. So the cave is from eons past, but the artwork is new.]

Castrejon, Diez, Dr. Jaime and Dra. Ruby Nickel de Castrejon, (1984, 23) Santa Prisca Taxco, México, DF México, Impreso in México, regarding Our lady of the Pillar Nuestra Señora del Pilar (o de la Barca.) altar and other altars, The picture of the altar is opposite p. 23.

bid, (1984, 13-14)
Church of Prisca in Taxco, México that contains an altar dedicated to Nuestra Señora and was rebuilt in the XVII century, “with one condition, that no religious order or any of the Viceroy's council should interfere with the building or managing of the money. The names of the workers will remain a mystery.” The carvings around the altar of Sta. Prisca, show shell iconography, [My Note: Similar to over-sized versions of the shell used during the pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago de Composotela..]

Stone,Stone, R. J. S. (1927, 222). The Cult of Santiago Traditions, Myths and Pilgrimages. London: Longmans, Green and Company.  A  [?wool] cowl, fastened by a broad belt. On cowl they wore a red cross. Broad brimmed hat with front up-ended, held by scallop shell, a staff, a sack and a gourd to Santiago de Compostela. The walking stick used by pilgrim's on the Way of St. James to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  Generally, the stick has a hook on it so that something may be hung from it. The walking stick sometimes has a cross piece on it. The pilgrim's staff has a strong association with the veneration of Saint James the Great and the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Cortada, p. 45, In 1072, Dona Urraca, sister of Don Alfonso fled to Sahagun Monastery, then transladose to Toledo beneath the ampara of the Moorish kings.