Santa María Tonantzintla
outside Cholula, State of Puebla, Mexico
Before the arrival of the Spaniards – the people in the area worshiped Tonantzin - "little mother" a goddess linked with their source of life - the corn . After the conquest that brought the Christianity to Mexico it was only logical for the natives to adopt the Virgin Marry as the continuity of their "little Mother". The Spaniards ordered the construction of the church to honor Virgin Mary but the indigenous that performed the work did not forget Tonatzin and their own culture and origin so the church is a kind of Mexican iconography.
The pink angels and children with their curly blond hair which can be seen in European churches have here brawny faces, with Indian features bearing a feathered decoration on the head. The Church is marvelously decorated with gold and bright yellow, red white and blue ornaments with emphasis on the corn. The feathered snake known as "Quetzalcoatl" one of the main gods of many Mexican and northern Central American civilizations is also to be found among the features.