Alfonso Entralgo, Yumary (2018-03). La Virgen cruza el Atlantico. Hibridacion y Palimpsesto iconografico.. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • During the Mexican colonial period, the configuration of worship services and Marian devotions in the mode of "novenas", "sermones", "patentes" and "oficios" strengthened the myth and veneration of the figure of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The models imposed by Eurocentric supremacy reveal a contradictory relationship that deserves further exploration in order to find and explain the connections between the iconography and religious domination mechanisms. As a result, the American space endures a process of transculturation and iconographic palimpsest between models of Marian devotions in Europe and Marian devotions in terms of representation and conceptualization in the New World. Following the establishment of Spanish colonization in Cuba within the cultural and religious sphere a phenomenon called transculturation occurred which was termed as transculturation by the ethnographer, anthropologist and Cuban ethnologist Fernando Ortiz. This term redefines the iconographic religious codes on the island because of the African slaves that were shipped to the Caribbean to work as laborers mainly in the sugar and tobacco plantations. These Africans brought their beliefs from their land, but were forced to embrace a completely different faith and to assume the Christian Catholic doctrine. Subsequently, these slaves camouflaged their own Yoruba deities with the Catholic calendar. Their pantheon was masked under Catholic images that the imposed religion provided, thus creating devotion to various saints and the representation of these in the manner of a palimpsest in their image and conceptualization. Some cases are exemplified by the worship to Our Lady of Charity, Our Lady of Regla and Our Lady of La Merced. The Virgin Mary in some of her invocations is overlapped and sincretized with the African deities such as Ochun, Yemaya and Obatala. Finally, this study analyzes the changes of cult and the use of images of the Virgin in the virtual platform. All the representations undoubtedly lead to a subversion of the image. This dissertation uses different frames works but the focus is on the main concept of "palimpsest" proposed by Sarah Dillon. The research line leads to the hybridism and the disquisitions about mythology and repetition of patterns in the formation of a nations narratives. With the transatlantic journey of the Virgin the palimpsest is formed in each medium or image in which it is represented. Each substrate of the performance or cult itself is subversive and contradicts the surface of the symbols.

publication date

  • March 2018