tema 5

In Mesoamerica, experiments involved corn, beans and squash. The evolution was not the same in every area. For example, maize, one of the most important plants in Latin American culture, is believed that was used in Oaxaca since 7 500 B.C., in Tehuacan since 5 000 B.C. and in Tamaulipas in 3 000 B.C.
The varieties of squash or pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo, mixed, moschata) appeared in different times; pepper, avocado, amaranth, mesquite, cactus, agave and nuts too.
The Andean Area specialized in potatoes near the 3,500 B.C.
In Ayacucho, Peru, appeared the Quinoa in the 4,500 B.C. The cañihua (also called the qañiwa or qañawa), the pumpkin also appeared in the Andean area. In this area, the domestication of some animals gained importance, such as the llama and the guinea pig. 
In the Amazon and Orinoco basin, people experimented with cassava. The Olmec civilization presents something of a mystery, indeed, we do not even know what they called themselves, as “Olmec” was their Aztec name and meant “rubber people”. Due to a lack of archaeological evidence their ethnic origins and the location and extent of many of their settlements are not known. The Olmecs did, however, codify and record their gods and religious practices using symbols (Cartwright, 2013).
Animals were very important for their culture, like the jaguar (there are many sculptures called were-Jaguar representing a mix of a man and a jaguar, it is believed to be their supreme deity), eagles, snakes and caimans. Archaeologist Peter Joralemon (quoted by Minster, 2014) identified eight different kind of gods in the Olmec civilization: the Olmec Dragon, the Bird Monster, the Fish Monster, the Banded-eye God, the Maize God, the Water God, the were-Jaguar and the Feathered Serpent (Minster, 2014):

The blending between Spanish people, the vast and diverse people from Mexico, Guatemala and Peru was not easy. In the first place, there was the issue of the identity. How do the conquered people could identify, if they got imposed a new religion, a new organization, a new everything? Would they just start to learn another language or they would try to remain their beliefs? According to Anthony King, quoted by Lina Bondi (2011), identity is mostly related to places, therefore, architecture (which we would see in the next topic) was one of the solutions of this identity problem:Identity is frequently related to geographical location and a specific sense of place, a place which may be characterized by a distinctive climate, and particular geographical, cultural, linguistic, architectural, social, and other characteristics. Notions of identity also rely on memory -of a shared past, a particular place- and the creation, and retention, of acoherent symbolic repertoire of signs (Lina Bondi, 2011). In the interior it has murals from two very important painters of the New Spain: Juan Correa and Cristóbal de Villalpando (Ciudad de México, 2009). One of Juan Correa best paintings is considered to be the “Assumption of the Virgin” (1685-1686) and the Virgin of Guadalupe, here is a general description (Exploring Colonial Mexico, n.d.):A common feature of the Guadalupana icon from the earliest times, as is seen in the Correa painting, was the inclusion of subsidiary scenes of the four apparitions, here placed in the corner ovals. At the top, these illustrate Juan Diego’s first meeting with the Virgin on the way to church, and his second encounter, accompanied by angels. Below, Juan Diego kneels before the Virgin at his third meeting when she proffers him a bouquet of roses — in itself a miraculous event since roses did not bloom at that time of year. Finally, Archbishop Zumarraga is shown on his knees worshipping the image on the tilma held up by Juan Diego. A characteristic especially important in painting is that there is no central figure to look at. For example, in The School of Athens by Raphael, look at the figures in the middle and you can identify them as Plato and Aristotle almost immediately. For their positions, they stand out of the picture. Something similar happens at The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci: the central figure is the most important: Jesus Christ. The lines in the painting point at Jesus, making him the focal point. However, in Baroque paintings, it does not exist that dynamic: any particular point captures the attention and that was one of the goals of the artist, fill with details that overwhelm and amaze. Look at some of the most important examples from various painters from the era to identify these characteristicsThe Maids of Honour by Diego Velázquez (Las Meninas). Diego Velázquez was a Spanish painter (the official one for the court) who used a lot of psychological games in his paintings, involving the spectator to be part of his art. In this painting, you can see a scene from the court, there is a princess, her maids of honor, the king and the queen, a lady dwarf, a dog and Diego Velázquez himself painting something (but you can’t see what it is).