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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Our Lady Of Guadalupe
Program #
Culture, Identity

Linda Fregoso
Alicia Gonzáles, Jerry Burnett
Nov 1, 1980

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Alicia Gonzalez, professor of folklore at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses the image of the Virgin de Guadalupe and her role in uniting and symbolizing the Mexican community, from her appearance in 1531 to the farm worker’s movement. Our lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego in the 16^th century, as a mestiza. Her appearance symbolized the religious syncretism that would come to mark Mexican Catholicism and facilitated the conversion of the Aztecs.

Gonzalez discusses the similarities between Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Aztec goddess Tonantzin or Coatlicue, whose temple was located in Tepeyec where the Virgin appeared. Gonzalez also discusses allegations that the Spanish missionaries may have invented her to help facilitate conversion. The discussion explores Our Lady of Guadalupe’s importance as a symbol of Mexican identity and unity and how she came to take on such significance during the War for Independence from Spain. She argues that the Virgin’s appearance to the lowly Juan Diego foretold her later significance as a symbol of resistance and struggle.

Father Burnett discussed the place of Our Lady of Guadalupe in key events in Mexican and Chicano history. He notes that Father Miguel Hidalgo's troops flew placards of La Virgen de Guadalupe when they went into battle in Guanajuato, that some battalions in the Revolution unfurled the virgin before they went into battle, and that she seems to be involved whenever campesinos or workers fight for dignity and respect.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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