Apuntes: Revista de Estudios sobre Patrimonio Cultural - Journal of Cultural Heritage Studies
Print version ISSN 1657-9763
LIMPIAS ORTIZ, Víctor Hugo. Jesuit Mission of Moxos. Apuntes [online]. 2007, vol.20, n.1, pp. 70-91. ISSN 1657-9763.
This paper is about the Jesuit Mission of Moxos, currently located in Bolivia, a cultural and productive experience developed during the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries that was being defined by means of a complex combination of productive criteria of spatial structuring which recognizes the reductions as large industrial, agricultural and cattle farming settlements, and by evangelization efforts among the Indians that seeked the synchronization of original and metropolitan cultures. As a consequence of a complex and dynamic strategy of territory possession, baroque urban and architectural aesthetics were adopted as instruments of spatial ordering and structuring, in a subtle mix with elements of the local material culture. Although symbolic and religious matters are implicitly identified as fundamental to the process of spatial definition in the Jesuit reductions in South America, in this paper also the "productive" dimension of the Mission architecture and urbanism, particularly concerning urban design, is recognized. At the end, recognizing that the Jesuit project was mainly moved by the sincere aspiration to Christianize the Moxos people, the paper intends to explain how the combination of the Moxos culture with the baroque spirit and aesthetics imported by the Jesuit priests produced a blending that contributed both to the propagation of faith and to the agricultural and cattle production, exportable to the Viceroyalty market.
Keywords : Moxos-Mojos; Jesuit Missions; Jesuit Subduing; Wooden Architecture; Mission Urbanism; Baroque Architecture; Baroque Urbanism; Jesuit Order; Jesuits; America.