Miracles on 104th Street
104th and Fifth Avenue, New York City
On Saturday, October 7, Mano a Mano will present a workshop at this street fair sponsored by the Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Barrio and the City of New York, Department of Parks and Recreation and presented by JPMorganChase.
Ahuehuete: Tree of Miracles
Mexican milagros are a popular devotional tradition. They are offerings to cure the sick, find a lost person or object, or to give thanks for good fortune.
Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders returns for a second year to Miracles on 104th Street with a demonstration of another type of popular Mexican milagro custom.
Last year, the focus was on retablos, paintings which represent a miraculous occurrence. This year we present milagros which are small detailed metal objects, representing parts of the body, animals, or small religious statues, among other themes.
One way of offering milagros is to hang them on a tree called the Ahuehuete (Taxodium mucronatum) or Montezuma cypress. This outstanding example of Mexican flora, a national symbol of Mexico, can measure up to 50 meters (164 feet) in height and 14 meters (46 feet) in diameter. Some of these trees are more than 2,000 years old! Their roots go very deep, reaching down to the sources of water. Their name comes from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs and their descendants. “Atl” means water and “huehuete” means old man. Thus, the name means “old man of the water”.
The Ahuehuete is a sacred tree that has been deemed miraculous since pre-Hispanic times. There are countless legends based on it curative properties.
We invite you to join us and hang your milagros on the tree!