Thursday, July 31, 2008

The iconic “heart” (el Corazón).

For many years I have collected hearts. The shape, the color, and its meaning of love I was always partial to. Now I realize that in Mexico is much more than that. It is probably the most frequently used icon. It is very prevalent in all of our folk art, and its origin is two-fold.

The heart is used in most of our religious figures. There are hundreds of images of the Virgin and many Saints with painted hearts, emanating rays of love and compassion.
Also in many Churches, specially in the old times there were walls full of “Milagros”.
These are mostly tin cut images of hearts brought in by the people and nailed to one of the inside walls of a Church to thank God and/or a particular Saint for a miracle performed. Today you can also find other types of Milagros such as eyes, legs, small virgin images, hands and others.

These weekly hearts were made out of leftover scraps of wood used for a veranda in the house. The reason why they are seven, each one relating to the day of the week is to remind us that we are meant to love each and every day of our lives.

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