SMU in Oaxaca

During winter term 2009-10, seven students will earn Art History/CF credit studying ancient archaeological sites, Colonial art and architecture, folk art and religious fiestas in the Valley of Oaxaca, the Sierra Norte, Sierra Madre del Sur and on the Pacific Coast as part of SMU-in-Oaxaca.

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On the Dominican Route

An update from program director Kathy Windrow:

We traveled on part of the Dominican Route in Oaxaca, which begins in Mexico City, continues through Oaxaca and ends in Guatemala. This is the route taken by the Dominican friars who came to convert the indigenous peoples. We visited two of the greatest churches in Oaxaca:

San Pedro y San Pablo in Teposcolula, with the finest open chapel in Oaxaca, and the church decorated with indigenous carvings and murals (floral patterns more important to the Indians than to the Spaniards), and paintings by the team of Andres de la Concha and Flemish Simon Pareyns.

Santo Domingo in Yanhuitlan, built where the Mixtec were defeated by the Aztec (for refusing to pay tribute/taxes) not long before the arrival of the Dominicans, and a magnificent structure with Renaissance, Plateresque, Mudejar and Baroque stylistic qualities and a soaring retablo explained by Leslie on site; the church served as a school for woodworking, stone carving, and the Spanish and Mixtec languages.

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