Saturday, January 22

The young woman from Amajac: Mexico City chooses the pre-Hispanic sculpture of a woman to permanently replace Columbus in Paseo de la Reforma


Sculpture 'La joven de Amajac' that will be placed in the place where the statue of Christopher Columbus was located, on Paseo de la Reforma avenue.
Sculpture ‘La joven de Amajac’ that will be placed in the place where the statue of Christopher Columbus was located, on Paseo de la Reforma avenue.Government of Mexico City.

The roundabout of Paseo de la Reforma and Versalles will not see Christopher Columbus again. Instead, the reproduction of a sculpture of an indigenous woman will adorn this space. The young woman from Amajac, a sculpture discovered in January 2021 in the Huasteca of Veracruz, which belongs to the late postclassic period (1450-1521 AD) and which is currently exhibited in the Museum of Anthropology, will be the one that represents the indigenous peoples of the country instead of the colonialist past , as announced on Tuesday by the Head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum.

“Placing a woman and in particular, an indigenous woman in this place implies rethinking the historical perspective,” said the head of government at the presentation of this project. “The only way to recognize wealth is what is going to remove from the minds of Mexicans the classism and racism that permeates this historical version,” Sheinbaum pointed out this October 12, the day in which Mexico traditionally commemorates the Day of the race.

The decision to remove Colón from this emblematic avenue has not been without controversy. On October 10 of last year, the local authorities ordered the removal of the monument under the pretext of a remodeling and later it was announced that it would be replaced by the figure of an indigenous woman made by the Mexican artist Pedro Reyes. The decision divided public opinion and a good number of historians because it was an object sculpted by a man and without having been consulted among the original peoples.

Subsequently, this pedestal was occupied by a group of feminist women, where they placed a figure of almost two meters which they called “monumenta”, a wooden sculpture that represents a woman with a raised fist painted purple. “They will talk with women to decide where this monument will be placed to honor women,” said Sheinbaum.

In the Mexican capital, a debate was held to place it on Paseo de la Reforma instead of the Genoese navigator, where members of civil and cultural associations from Mexico City participated, as well as artists and historians.

The young woman from Amajac It is a figure sculpted in stone that was discovered in the community of Hidalgo Amajac, Veracruz, within a citrus field on January 4 by experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). It measures about two meters high and is currently exhibited in the Museum of Anthropology, where it is exalted that the figure represents a young elite woman of the Huastec cultures of the area.

The first pre-Hispanic female sculpture of its kind was found in the community of Hidalgo Amajac, Veracruz, Mexico.  According to the researcher at the INAH Veracruz Center, the archaeologist María Eugenia Maldonado Vite, this piece represents a young elite woman, “possibly a ruler because of her posture and attire, rather than a deity as almost all Huastec sculptures have been interpreted. feminine, to which he is linked with the goddess Tlazoltéotl ”.
The first pre-Hispanic female sculpture of its kind was found in the community of Hidalgo Amajac, Veracruz, Mexico. According to the researcher at the INAH Veracruz Center, the archaeologist María Eugenia Maldonado Vite, this piece represents a young elite woman, “possibly a ruler because of her posture and attire, rather than a deity as almost all Huastec sculptures have been interpreted. feminine, to which he is linked with the goddess Tlazoltéotl ”.
María Eugenia Maldonado Vite / INAH

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