Hallowed Stones, Stones that Move: A Guaca in Seventeenth Century Nueva Granada

Fall 2022 GGR Recipient

Sergio Manuel Silva (Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese)

This project interrogates the complex interaction between Muisca religious practices and the Spanish colonial system of devotional imagery in seventeenth century Santafé (present-day Bogotá). Particularly, this project focuses on a set of stone sculptures which are known and revered today under the name of “Virgen de La Peña,” which are said to have appeared on a ridge near Santafé in 1685. An initial review of three archives will help situate the sculpted images of La Peña within the larger context of the seventeenth century religious landscape of Santafé and explore the earliest documented devotional interactions that these images propitiated.