new york, New York
December 4, 2000
The 'virtues' emphasized by the Catholic church to instill the proper attitude in their new Indian converts were chastity, obedience, and poverty--customed tailored to the dominated by the dominator. A room full of yellow flowers represent the dual triumph of the church--both in saving the souls of the Indians and discovering gold!
An especially moving detail were holes bored into the rear of a church wall, made by slaves who were not allowed inside. I was impressed by the creativity of one room that was prepared to represent the cathedral as cosmos, complete with ceiling photos taken by the Hubbel telescope and a floor of glass beneath which images of Christ lay among hordes of silver and gold objects.
A final display depicted aspects of Condomble, one of Brazil's Creole religions--a combination of Indian, African and Catholic elements.
From journal Rio: Brazil's Cultural Paradise