Murals in Mexico

unnamed.jpgMurals in Mexico go wa-a-a-y back. If you were sacrificed by the early Toltecs or the Maya, you could be assured of passing on amidst aesthetically pleasing surroundings.
The mural concept was adopted by the Catholic Spanish as a way of teaching their faith to the locals they were trying to save (or oppress), and it found new life in the early 20th Century among a group of Mexican artists (Diego Rivera, Juan O’Gorman, Jose Orozco, David Siqueiros and others) who used murals as a way of instilling national pride after the 1910 Revolution ( ). More recently, where in most western countries we’re used to protest-graffiti scrawled on walls, local people here have often painted quite elaborate and eye-catching murals to oppose widening of the local highway, or greedy officials.
The selection here mostly arises from a less lofty aim, having been sponsored by the Comex paint company, with the obvious intention of showcasing its products. But I thought some of the results were worth sharing anyway. They’re all in the nearby town of Tepoztlan.
The last image (above) is of a non-commercial project, done by artists in and around the community of Amatlan, where I’m living. It’s on the side of the village primary (i.e, grade) school, and shows Ce Acatl Topiltzin (roughly, said as “Say a-Cat Toppled Scene”), who became the original Quetzalcoatl. Ce Acatl Topiltzin was born just outside this village in the 800s AD (they think), so he’s our local hero/demi-god, and the mural shows scenes from his life.

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