Descansos - The Sacred Landscape of New Mexico
Fresco Fine Art Publications, 2006 - Photography - 79 pages
Santa Fe photographer Joan Alessi provides a polychromatic exposition of New Mexico's traditional roadside memorials,descansos, as an art form. Her stunning photography captures the artistic attributes of these decorative crosses while preserving their religious and cultural integrity.
Sylvia Grider's accompanying essay explains the origin and folkloric tradition of roadside memorials. These religious markers are not in themselves unique to the southwestern United States. Rather, they are a universal phenomenon with a long and curious history. The term descanso (literally translated as "resting place"), however, may have indeed originated among the Spanish-speaking vecinos of New Mexico.
"The descansos contained in this book are a reflection of both the emotion and dedication of the devotees as they mourn the passing and celebrate the life of the beloved."--Art Gómez, National Park Service, supervisory historian; (coauthor)New Mexico: Images of a Land and Its People(UNM Press)
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