In many Hispanic countries, there is a Catholic custom called “la quema de Judas,” or “the burning of Judas.” On Easter, Sunday, life-size replicas of Judas are made and burned with Fireworks or bonfires for the betrayal of Christ, a ritual to cleanse the soul. In recent decades the ritual has grown to encompass other aspects of the community, and it is now natural to see dolls in the likeness of corrupt political figures publically set on fire. In the 16th century, the Spanish brought the “gift” of Catholicism, from which this ritual stems, to Mexico’s indigenous peoples. With the introduction of this new belief system, the indigenous peoples struggled to understand their relationship with God. Once rewarded for ritual sacrifice and punished for neglect, native Mexicans were forced to rectify the illustration of Catholicism’s God with the capriciousness of reality. The negative effects of this change are still evident today. In his short play, “Los Fantoches,” Carlos Solórzano creates characters based on “la quema de Judas.” In doing so, he establishes a metaphor to communicate the ongoing sentiments of indigenous peoples, criticizing Catholicism from their perspective.
Oliver, Emma and Miller, Elaine M.
The Kennesaw Tower Undergraduate Foreign Language Research Journal:
Vol. 8, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/kennesawtower/vol8/iss1/3