Feb 5, 2009

The theme for Theme Thursday is statues. I was supposed to go to the Theme Thursday blog and announce my intention to do a statue themed post, but I'm not always that organized. Without further ado, here is my contribution. This is a statue of Francisco "Pancho" Villa, the Mexican revolutionary and hero or villain, depending on your perspective. Since we only know the history that is taught to us in our government-sponsored schools, Americans tend to see Villa as an outlaw killer and Mexicans, particularly in the Northern States of Mexico, see him as a defender of the average Mexican and flipper-offer of the US government. This statue was presented to the City of Hooterville in 1981 by the Mexican President, Jose Lopez Portillo. Portillo claimed that the statue represented a symbol of how two former enemies had become allies. Some people think it was a joke, but there's no proving it. Villa is a part of folklore in these parts, so Hooterville graciously accepted the gift, much to the chagrin of those citizens who are haters of most things Mexican. We have plenty, believe me. The statue was originally located along side a midtown roadway, but when a major new road, the Kino Parkway was built in that right-of-way, they moved Villa's likeness downtown. City officials replaced the Villa statue with a statue of Fr. Eusebio Francisco Kino, the Catholic missionary and explorer who established 24 mission in Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona. Even though Fr. Kino's middle name was Francisco, there is no record of anyone calling him Pancho. Fr. Kino had the uncanny ability to get the peaceful indigenous peoples to give up on their superstitious beliefs and adopt his new-fangled brand of mumbo jumbo. The native peoples of our area, the Pima, were agrarian, so subduing them was kind of easy. Especially since the missions provided them with protection from the raids of the hostile Apaches. Kino had no success in converting the Apaches to Catholicism, because they preferred to kill intruders, rather than adopting their religion. Father Kino remains a big deal to many in these parts, even though he died in 1711. In fact one of the two official statues representing Arizona in the US Capitol is a likeness of Fr. Kino. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

14 comments:

Megan said...

I did not know Fr Pino. So there's something else I learned today!

Ok to put your link on the Thursday blog?

Coffee Messiah said...

Ahhh, there you are ; )

Interesting post and Thanks 4 joining in ; )

reyjr said...

better late than never eh? good thing your time is way later than mine. I actually posted my Theme Thursday post at about 11pm here!

Caren said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mouse (aka kimy) said...

fascinating post..... enjoyed the lesson on father kino....

kino is awfully close to keno.... did father kino run bingo games in those early missions....

interesting to see a likeness of pancho villa that doesn't include the bullet belts strapped across his chest....almost didn't recognize him! but his trademark mustache is there!

what does it mean when a the horse has one raised foot? know that there's some lore related to horses, riders, and feet....

Kurt said...

I learn so much here.

Avid Reader said...

what an excellent post!

tut-tut said...

I didn't know any of this! Thanks!

edward said...

everybody has statues.

Steve said...

When I was a kid in Tampa, there was an apartment complex in town called "Pancho's Villa." I didn't hear about the real Pancho Villa until years later -- and then I wondered why he was named after an apartment complex!

e said...

Pancho's Villa?? Were they the apartments where someone got busted for running a bordello???

You never know in Tampa...

Thanks, Merle, for the interesting history lesson. Hooterville is quite a place, too. it seems.

Adrianne said...

I concur with all the others that this is quite a fascinating history lesson. There's also a chance that it will inspire me to go check out that new US Capitol visitor center that's just down the street. (: )

Reya Mellicker said...

Excellent post, excellent choice.

Ah ... guys on horses. In DC we have a zillion of these statues. None of them are Villa, however (as I'm sure you can imagine).

Barbara said...

I've never understood how Pancho came to be the abbreviation for Francisco, but it's that way in many Latino countries.