Cynthia Korzekwa ©
Many Mexican intellectuals including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera sustained Mexicanidad, the pro-native movement associated with the Mexican Revolution.
Alfredo Chavero (1841-1906) was a politically active Mexican archeologist who enthusiastically promoted the re-appropriation of Mexico’s indigenous past. Chavero wrote extensively on Middle American Indians. He was the first scholar to make reference to Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess who wore a skirt made from serpents and a necklace made of hearts, hands, and a skull pendant. With such a surrealistic look, it’s no wonder that Frida fell in love with her and often used Coatlicue related motifs for her paintings. In her “Self-portrait With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (1940), Frida portrays herself wearing a necklace of thorns adorned by a dead hummingbird. Dead hummingbirds were often used as charms to bring good luck in love. The painting was made shortly after Frida’s divorce from Diego so, obviously, she was devastated and used her art to help her purge some sorrow. Photographer Nickolaus Murray, friend and ex-lover, bought the painting from Frida knowing she needed the money.
I would like to make a huipil dress dedicated to Coatlicue. It would have a bodice made of skull printed fabric and a skirt of snakes!