Thursday, March 4, 2021

'Pureza de Sangre' exhibit starts today in Laredo

Exhibit to feature history of Crytpo-Jews in New Spain

Webb Country Heritage Foundation | Aug 17, 2012

Courtesy of Webb County Heritage Foundation

LAREDO, Texas–The Webb County Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with Half Spoon, LLC will present a very unique exhibit for this region opening on Friday, August 17 at 6 p.m. at the Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum, 810 Zaragoza St. " Pureza de Sangre " features a history of the influence of crypto Jews in this region as illustrated by 17 th century genealogies of families living in New Spain (Mexico) at the time. Documented family trees were proof of pure Christian blood-lines during a time when the Spanish Inquisition sought to ban Jews from territories controlled by the Spanish crown. "Crypto Jew" is a term used to describe those of the Jewish faith who, in the face of unrelenting and systematic oppression and finally expulsion, chose to convert to Catholicism while secretly maintaining their Jewish faith and culture.

The exhibit will feature hand-painted books and documents curated by Half Spoon LLC and shown for the first time in the U.S.

Richard G. Santos, former archivist of Bexar County and author of numerous historical publications, will make a presentation on the Spanish-Portuguese Sephardic Jews and the colonization of Norheast Mexico and South Texas . The talk will be an overview of the founding and settling of the villas, haciendas and ranchos of the Sephardim in Northeast Mexico (Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Tamaulipas) and South Texas including the unique history, worldview, cuisine, language, impact and influence of the Sephardim in this area.

In addition, Ricardo Backal and Armando Ceballos, exhibit curators, will make a presentation in Spanish on the exhibit and the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico .

The event is co-sponsored by Congregation Agudas Achim and the Les Norton Family.

For more information on the Cytpo-Jews of Mexico and New Spain, click here.

For more information, contact the Webb County Heritage Foundation at (956)727-0977.

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