Constructing doctrinas in sixteenth century Mexico


  • Robert H. Jackson

Palabras clave:

Arquitectura, Siglo XVI, Nueva España, Doctrinas, Misioneros


In 1591, the residents of the visita communities of the Augustinian doctrina (mission) San Guillermo Totolapan (Morelos) wrote to royal officials petitioning to be freed from the obligation to provide labor for the construction of the church and cloister of the main doctrina complex and the casas reales in Totolapan. The petition cited a series of reasons for request. One was the effect of depopulation caused by epidemics, and flight from the communities by heads of household to avoid excessive labor demands. A second was the obligation to provide labor to work the lands of the encomenderos and Augustinian missionaries, as well as their own lands. The Augustinian missionaries at Totolapan demanded 70 workers from the communities to work on the construction projects. The petition, however, also added one other reason for the request, which was that the requirement to send workers to Totolapan delayed the construction of chapels in the visita communities. With the exception of the final complaint, the elements the petition listed were consistent with the analysis of abuses associated with the construction of Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustinian doctrina complexes in the sixteenth century in a recent article published by Ryan D. Crewe. However, in addressing the question of why the indigenous peoples of central Mexico collaborated in the construction of expensive and time-consuming doctrina building projects, Crewe offers a one-dimensional interpretation that dismisses other scholarly views on the question, and ignores many of the nuances of the history of the development of the complexes.


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Cómo citar

Jackson, R. H. (2022). Constructing doctrinas in sixteenth century Mexico. Prolija Memoria. Segunda época, 6(1), 59–84. Recuperado a partir de