Slovenski etnografski muzej

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The continuity of symbols. The fertility ritual of the Three Virgins of Copoya in Mexico

The feast of the Three Virgins of Copoya is historically connected with the colonial institution of indigenous brotherhoods (cofradias índias) of New Spain, the system of its religious posts (el sistema de los cargos religiosos), and the Marian cult. It also reflects elements of the previous institution of the cowiná (extended family) and fertility rites. The celebration nowadays continues in the modern institution of mayordomia (stewardship) of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and witnesses to symbolic continuity and thesocial and religious adaptability of the local Zoque indigenous population and the many economic, political and social changes. The article draws attention to the fact of historical dynamics and the universality of symbols through the historical prism of economic and political changes.