bloggie

friday, october 24, 2014 2:21 pm zst

Forty acres and a mou

hyperlinkopotamus

zorkmidden left a comment at 2:29 pm 10/23
franco cbi is also here
zorkmidden left a comment at 12:12 pm 10/23
franco cbi and evariste @ large have also commented
franco cbi left a comment at 5:54 am 10/18
franco cbi left a comment at 2:45 pm 10/13
evariste @ large is also here
kianb left a comment at 11:19 am 10/21
evariste @ large, franco cbi, zorkmidden, and RIP Ford have also commented
franco cbi left a comment at 4:10 pm 10/11
packen left a comment at 6:32 am 10/13
evariste @ large, zorkmidden, and franco cbi have also commented
franco cbi left a comment at 12:27 am 10/09
evariste @ large is also here
franco cbi left a comment at 1:21 pm 10/09
packen left a comment at 6:35 am 10/08
evariste @ large and zorkmidden have also commented
franco cbi left a comment at 6:36 am 10/07
evariste @ large is also here

La Pascualita

I wonder if Gabriel Garcia Marquez's tale about Margarito Duarte and his daughter was inspired by this story: Riddle of Mexico's "corpse bride" draws crowds. I just love magical realism.

Peering through the glass at a mannequin's veined hands, sparkling eyes and eerie smile, the small crowd gathered outside a store in northern Mexico tries to settle a macabre riddle beguiling many.

Is the tall, slender bridal figure in the window a richly detailed shop's dummy or, as a local legend says, the decades-old embalmed corpse of the former store owner's daughter?.

The haunting figure known as 'La Pascualita,' or 'Little Pascuala' first appeared 75 years ago in the window of the bridal gown store in the city of Chihuahua.

Since then, the striking realism of the dummy has spawned supernatural tales and reports of a miracle, and even inspired a foot-stomping accordion ballad played on local radio.

The figure has drawn a stream of people from across the desert state of Chihuahua over the past eight decades, and is now attracting curious visitors from South America, the United States and Europe, the owners of the La Popular store say.

As cars and trucks rumble by the shop on a busy city street, the entranced visitors smudge their noses up against the store window and try to decide for themselves if it's a corpse.

"She looks good for all the years that she's been here," Yolanda Robles, who trekked to the shop out of curiosity from Phoenix, Arizona, said as she studied the rosary-clutching figurine.

"There are just so many details, like her hair and the nails on her hand, that it just has to be true," she added.

Through the years the story has bloomed into a tale with all the rich characteristics of magic realist fiction. It all began on March 25, 1930, when the dummy was first placed in the store front window.

Dressed in a spring-season bridal gown, the figure immediately gripped the attention of passers by with its disquieting, wide-set glass eyes, real hair and blushing skin tones. Pascualita is unique among other shop mannequins in the sleepy backwater state capital.

Rapt locals soon began to notice a striking resemblance to the shop's then owner, Pascuala Esparza. A rumor quickly spread that the figure was not a dummy, but her daughter who, it was said, died from the bite of a Black Widow spider on her wedding day.

"She started to receive abusive phone calls from angry citizens who accused her of embalming her daughter," the store's present owner Mario Gonzalez said in his office above the wood-paneled shop floor.

"She decided to issue a formal denial through a public notary in the city, but by then it was too late. Nobody believed her and the name 'Pascualita' stuck," he added.

The name of the daughter, if Esparza ever had one, became lost in time.

Down the years, the tale has been embellished with claims of supernatural happenings, including visits by a love-sick French magician who is said to bring the dummy magically to life at night, and take her out on the town.

Others say that her gaze follows them around the store, or that she shifts positions at night in the darkened shop window to the surprise of passers by.

Spooked by the tales, several jittery shop workers say they dread being the last to leave the store in the evening, and some of them refuse to change the dummy's outfits.

Indeed, twice a week her outfits are changed, always using the more classic bridal styles that Gonzalez and his staff consider more appropriate and dignified. The changing is done -- perhaps a bit theatrically -- behind curtains put up in the shop window to preserve the dummy's modesty.

"Every time I go near Pascualita my hands break out in a sweat," shopworker Sonia Burciaga said.

"Her hands are very realistic and she even has varicose veins on her legs. I believe she's a real person."

While Pascualita is more of a curio than a religious draw in devoutly Catholic Mexico, a few people have left votive candles outside the shop and even attribute a miracle to her.

"One woman was having a violent argument with her boyfriend close to the store. As she turned to walk away from her lover, he pulled out a pistol and shot her," Gonzalez said.

"As she fell she looked up and saw the figure in the shop window and said, 'Save me Pascualita, save me!' And you know what? She survived," he adds.

Other tributes to the mannequin have included an altar of sugar skulls, flowers and candles left by local school children each year on November 2 -- Mexico's Day of the Dead -- and a ballad by popular Tex-Mex combo 'Los Archies.'

Among those to visit the bride have been popular television figures such as Mario Kreutzberger, better known as 'Don Francisco', whose syndicated show has stirred up interest in the figure throughout Latin America.

As more visitors come to the shop each year, Gonzalez says he is thinking of getting a visitors' book and even opening a small museum to Pascualita.

But asked to settle once and for all whether she is a dummy or a corpse, he just smiles and shakes his head. "Is it true? A lot of people believe it is, but I really couldn't say."

Posted by zorkmidden on Dec 21, 2005 6:00 am

no comments yet

recent comments

When will Republicans run out of stupid ideas? [ Never! ]/
And Rush Limbaugh's number of wives is double the number of Americans infected with Ebola on American soil.
[ Source for the photo above. ]/
On a serious note, I hope the panic is over because I'm going to be flying in a month or
[img]
Close the borders, stop the flights, hide your wives and children! And don't forget to buy survival seeds!
[ #3 ]/ franco cbi: LMAO.
Yay! Bloggie's back! And Nurses Pham and Vinson are now Ebola-free. It's morning in America. :)
Bloggie had a DNS problem, I fixed it yesterday but it took a while for caches to expire.
Hello? Anybody home? Are you feeling OK, Bloggie?
Have you noticed that 99% of the headlines about this finding didn't include King Philip 2's own name? They were
Key points: ' - Bolivia's economy grew an estimated 6.5 percent last year, among the strongest rates in
By state: [img]
By generation: ' A look at generational differences demonstrates that this is only the beginnings of a major
[img]
[ And Arizona and Alaska. ]/ ' A federal judge has just ruled that Arizona’s ban on
The bartender tells him, "we don't serve time-travelers here". A time-traveler walks into a bar...
' VATICAN CITY (AP) — Catholic bishops showed unprecedented openness Monday to accepting the real lives of many Catholics
[ What the time traveller told Steve Ballmer ]/
I like Satya Nadella much better than his predecessors.
[ #8 ]/ evariste @ large: And you were right. I tried that method before with white vinegar and
And Alaska. On October 12, 2014, Judge Timothy M. Burgess [US District Court, District of Alaska] ruled that Alaska's
[ #6 ]/ zorkmidden: a shih tzu only hears what he chooses to hear, as long as it was
[ #5 ]/ packen So my only recourse dealing with gnat problem Have they evolved
The local landowners are fixing to make bank off of tourism now.

home

this & that

bloggie pulse: circulation
last 15 minutes:
29
last hour:
61
last 24 hours:
774
bloggie pulse: comments
since midnite:
0
last 24 hours:
1
in our lifetime:
6081