Iconic Mexican determine Sor Juana, a well-known face for years on the 200-peso invoice, lately obtained a makeover and a brand new house on the 100-peso invoice, a part of Mexico’s common updating of its “households” of payments and cash to reply to financial and technological shifts. However these kinds of modifications additionally usually provoke political and cultural discussions as to what and who needs to be honored on Mexico’s cash.
Sor Juana herself speaks to the dialogue in current many years relating to the looks, or lack thereof, of feminine personages. Since 1969, solely 10 ladies have appeared on Mexico’s forex, versus 46 males. And solely three have been traditionally vital — Frida Kahlo, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, and Sor (Sister) Juana Inés de la Cruz.
Some feminine figures have appeared representing a category of girls, such because the “Adelitas” — ladies troopers of the Mexican Revolution. Others have appeared for questionable causes, comparable to Gloria Faure’s picture within the early 20th century. Faure was the lover of Financial institution of México governor Alberto J. Pani.
Not surprisingly, a lot of the featured pictures are these of individuals concerned in Mexico’s wars, particularly the Struggle of Independence and the Mexican Revolution. However in newer instances there was strain to honor those that have made contributions within the cultural realm, relatively than simply “nationwide heroes.” Sor Juana’s picture matches in effectively with this need. Nevertheless, when the Financial institution of México introduced the introduction of a brand new sequence of payments, the concern was that each one feminine pictures would disappear, together with hers.
Alas, Frida Kahlo’s picture appears to be gone, not less than for now.
Though Kahlo is much better identified internationally, in Mexico Sor Juana has an attraction that crosses generations and social courses. Feedback in help of her picture on Mexico’s cash include enthusiasm from Oxxo cashiers to move librarians at universities. She is among the most acknowledged figures in classical Latin American literature, however her lifetime of pushing the boundaries of what society permitted appeals to a large public.
Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillano (1648–1695) was born within the small city of San Miguel Nepantla, southeast of Mexico Metropolis. Though studying was not completely forbidden to ladies on the time, it was extremely discouraged. Luckily, her grandfather had an in depth library on the household hacienda. It’s claimed that she realized there virtually fully on her personal, studying by age 3 and writing by age 8. Her intelligence attracted consideration, permitting her to journey to Mexico Metropolis to study Latin. In 1665, she turned a part of the court docket of the viceroy’s spouse, Leonor Carreto, the place she astonished with the depth of her studying.
Though she obtained marriage proposals, she selected the lifetime of a nun as it might enable her to proceed learning and studying. She turned well-known for her poetry, written in Spanish, Latin, and Náhuatl. Her mental work skirted the boundaries of what was acceptable for a lady, getting away with a lot as a result of she had supporters within the church and the court docket. Sadly, the cloistered life and fame didn’t afford absolute safety. Newer church leaders frowned upon her writing and attitudes about ladies’s mental parity with males. She ultimately was compelled to cease writing, do penance, and spend the remainder of her life doing charitable works. She died in 1695, a sufferer of a plague caught tending to others.
As Mexico’s “Tenth Muse,” Sor Juana remained necessary academically. But it surely was the analysis and writing of Nobel laureate Octavio Paz within the mid-20th century that reintroduced her into the final Mexican consciousness.
Paz idolized her as somebody pushing in opposition to a chauvinistic and authoritarian tradition. Nevertheless, as a result of she lived over 350 years in the past and nothing in her writings is remotely controversial in the present day, she is a “protected insurgent” to advertise. She represents how far Mexican society has come, along with her reminiscence no risk to any present energy construction.
That is possible why Sor Juana has appeared on varied payments and cash for over 4 many years. She first appeared in 1978 on the 1,000-peso invoice. Excessive inflation turned this invoice right into a coin by 1988, which saved her picture, however it disappeared with the 1992 peso revaluation. She then appeared once more on the 200-peso invoice, which did a lot to maintain her alive within the fashionable creativeness.
Regardless of her reputation, the Financial institution of México determined to return the photographs of Miguel Hidalgo and José María Morelos to the 200-peso invoice, issued in 2019. She instantly stands out on the brand new 100-peso invoice due to its vertical orientation.
The change doesn’t sign a “downgrading.” The truth is, the 100-peso invoice has the widest circulation of all payments in Mexico, in keeping with Alejandro Alegre, director of circulation of the Financial institution of México. Seventy million of the high-tech polymer payments will likely be printed earlier than the top of 2021.
Luckily, Sor Juana will not be the one girl to seem on Mexico’s new sequence of payments. The others embrace Mexican revolutionary heroines Carmen Serdán and Hermila Galindo, sharing area with Francisco I. Madero on the brand new 1,000-peso invoice. The final, poet Rosario Castellanos, is deliberate to seem with Octavio Paz on a proposed 2,000-peso invoice, which is awaiting approval.
Leigh Thelmadatter arrived in Mexico 17 years in the past and fell in love with the land and the tradition. She publishes a weblog referred to as Creative Hands of Mexico and her first e-book, Mexican Cartonería: Paper, Paste and Fiesta, was printed final 12 months. Her tradition weblog seems usually on Mexico Information Each day.