Friday, May 8, 2009

richelle hawks: "Virgins and Saints Along the Mohawk"

Esoteric author, and contributor to Women Of Esoterica, has a neat Medussa's Ladder on Binnall of America: Virgins and Saints Along the Mohawk." It's a look at the west coast vs. east coast cultural differences in presenting Mary, as well as broader cultural representations.
One of the most visible cultural dynamics is the presence of the Virgin Mary. In upstate New York's Mohawk Valley, where I live, Virgin Mary statues and icons are everywhere: restaurants, atop buildings and institutions, gas stations, affixed to mailboxes on rural roads. The Blessed Virgin Mary hangs out in windows, looms large over cemeteries, and watches over her flock from backyard altars. She's always made of concrete or plaster.

This is not Mexico, and this is not the fantastical, glorious Virgen de Guadalupe; here, the Holy Mother is unadorned, plain. There are no bright plastic flowers, nor are there colorful candles in jars, no milagros. Generally, there is no sense of "shrinage.

By the way, don't forget you can download a free pdf collection of blog entries on the BVM that includes an article by richelle on the image of Mary in Utah.

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