Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Curious New Mexican Habits in the pre American period.

New Mexicans had religious habits in the pre American period that were completely alien to Americans who arrived here early on. Not only were the Americans protestant but they had an innate hatred of Catholics, their priests and their religion. The best New Mexican historian of the period, Fray Angelico Chavez, alludes to this in one of this books , But Time and Chance, The Story of Padre Martinez of Taos, 1793 - 1867 published by Sunstone Press in 1981.

That being said, it is understandable that the historians made so many mistakes in their efforts to document the history of New Mexicans. I see these mistakes continually as I read even books written in the current period.

Some of the habits were unique and some were common to Hispanics, some common to Mexicans and some common only to New Mexicans. There was, or is, no real reason to expect or have expected protestants who were new to the area and who came with all of their hatred of New Mexicans and their ways to know these nuances that our ancestors had.

Only now, as documents are translated by New Mexican scholars can the real history be written. The book mentioned above written by Angelico Chavez is a perfect case in point. The picture that emerges of Padre Martinez is totally different than even modern "historians" like Paul Horgan painted. In reality and from a historical point New Mexicans writing their own history expose the inadequate efforts of previous persons.

No comments: