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Glorieta de Amajac

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Glorieta de colon
Photo: EneasMx on Wikimedia Commons

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The Glorieta de Amajac is the former Glorieta de Colón. The glorieta has been the center of some controversy for a few years. The Mexico City government announced in September of 2021 (on International Indigenous Women’s Day), that the Glorieta will be rededicated to honor indigenous women.

In October of 2021, it was announced that a very old monument just re-discovered in the state of Veracruz will be fitted to the site. It remains to be seen whether the new monument will take advantage of the double pedestal in red limestone with four monks at the corners. These are figures from the evangelization period in early colonial Mexico.

  • The “Young Woman of Amajac” was discovered only in early 2021. At nearly two meters tall, the female figure is believed to be a prominent women of the Huasteca culture. Similar female figures are linked to the goddess Tlazoltéotl. The work of the sculptural tradition of the Huastecan culture. It does however show influence from the Nahua culture, and was likely carved when the Triple Alliance was exerting influence across Central Mexico. The National Institute of Anthropology and History dates the sculpture to between 1450 and 1521 C.E.

Alas, the loss of the Columbus monument was not a matter of grave concern to City residents. In fact, another monument to Columbus stands about 850 meters (an 11-minute walk), north in the Buenavista neighborhood. The Plaza de Buenavista Columbus statue was sculpted in plaster by Manuel Vilar in 1858. The bronze cast came about in 1892. It was dedicated in that same year by then-president, Porfirio Díaz.

Over the years, the Reforma statue of Columbus became the frequent target of activists. This was true almost no matter what issue they were marching in support of. In October of 2020, the city decided to remove the statue to send it for cleaning and restoration. Current plans call for relocating the statue to the Parque América in Polanco.

And so, the Glorieta de Tlalli welcomes a new monument. Of the ten glorietas on Reforma, it’s one of the oldest. For the man who ushered in the Anthropocene Era, our own, its perhaps more symbolic than ever. Strollers today, upon reaching the glorieta, can proceed to the Tabacalera neighborhood to the north. To the south is the Colonia Juárez. Of note is also the historical clock of the Hotel Imperial. This has been there at the corner of the Avenida Morelos since the hotel opened in the 1930.

Mexico City

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