“The Corners of Merida”: a topic for the “Piece of the Month” at Museo de la Ciudad

Mérida, Yucatán, September 23rd, 2023.- With 30 photographs, four paintings and descriptive texts the Museo de la Ciudad dedicated its “Piece of the Month” program to the corners of Mérida.

For the Mérida City Hall headed by Mayor Renán Barrera Concha, the Museo de la Ciudad has dedicated its space to the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of the region. In this context, the theme of the corners of the city is an opportunity to learn more about a part of local history and traditions.
The old custom of naming the corners dates back to ancient times, according to chroniclers, with the objective of orienting people coming from neighboring parts of the city for their easy wandering through our streets. It was usual in those days, in order to call attention, to objectively point out the name of the corner with the graphic image of the same and placing it in the upper part of the property, which was generally occupied by a grocery store, drugstore, mill, etc.
This original and curious custom is part of the heritage of our popular traditions; some of them owe their name to some real or fictitious fact, others to their animation, nouns, animals, astrological motifs, places, natural phenomena, etc. Nowadays many of the old names of the corners have disappeared and the new generations do not know these names as a result of modernization and commercial growth in various parts of Mérida.
The exhibition includes three paintings by the late Manuel Lizama Salazar, painted in 1931, which are part of the museum’s Merida Collection. The first one shows the corner of El Elefante, located on 65 x 46 Street, where the sculpture of the animal, made of tin and painted with oil, can still be seen on the roof of the house, although over the years it lost its trunk.
The other two paintings reflect the corners of the Arco del puente (Calle 50 pox 63), so called because there was a wooden bridge that crossed a ditch where the sewage of the area used to flow, and one more of the corner of Calle 61 by Calle 60 of the Cathedral of Mérida.
Also on display is a work of the distinctive red and white plaques found on the corners of downtown Mérida, created by Bruce Edmiston in 2012.
Among the texts and photographs is La esquina del Xcul Arco or Arco truncado, which takes its name because it is said that its construction was begun but never completed. It should have been built on 70th by 61st and 63rd.
From the corner of El Monifato, it is known that for more than 100 years this sculpture remained at the confluence of 65 x 42 streets.
There is also the corner of El Imposible, which was located on 50th Street, between La Mejorada and San Cristóbal and was named after the San Antón hill that occupied it and impeded traffic.
The sculpture of Moro Muza was located in a niche between 65th and 56th Streets, where a hotel by that name operated during the 19th century. For many years this small sculpture carved in stone and embedded in this site, which is supposed to represent a man wearing a cap and cape, and in its lower part an engraving that said: El Moro Mouza; it is not known who the author was, but the corner preserves that name.
The exhibition is complemented with photographic images and stories of the corners of El Circo Teatro (68 and 57), El Candado (65 x 60), El Teatro (57 x 60), El Degollado (60 x 67), Las Dos Caras (65 x 58), San Juan de Dios (61 x 58), La Veleta (66 x 65) and El Gallito (60 x 63).
Liliana Bolio Pinelo, Deputy Director of Cultural Promotion, and José Civeira García, head of Museums, were present at the opening of the exhibition.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 hours, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00 hours. Admission is free.

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