Mariposa Pensativa - Entry for November 14, 2007

The phrase Mariposa Pensativa itself means Pensive Butterfly. I use the term butterfly not because I like to flit around but because my name, Vanessa, means butterfly in Ancient Greek, and more commonly known as a genus in the butterfly kingdom. The actual etymology of the name is disputed. The website Behind the Name says that the author Jonathan Swift invented the name Vanessa by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther Vanhomrigh, his close friend. But the name Vanessa could be derived from Phanessa, a feminine form of Orphic Phanes (which, by the by, is also a genus of butterflies), a primeval, golden-winged hermaphroditic god, meaning "appear." Yet some naming sites say that Phanessa is the ancient greek goddess of brotherhood. *shrugs shoulders*

When I was 9, my best friend Marcia gifted me a phone book with my name on the cover and a stamp of my name. The cover of this book said my name meant butterfly and this is what I have always believed. I remember thinking that I loved that it meant butterfly. I felt like one day I would stop being an ugly caterpillar and be a beautiful person one day. Before that day, I always felt awkward having the name Vanessa. It is not exactly a "Mexican" name.

My mother said that she would have named me Helen, but that during her pregnancy there was a Spanish telenovela that had a protagonist by the name Vanessa. I did some research, and the Mexican soap was called "Vanessa" and aired in 1982. The role was played by Lucía Leticia Méndez Pérez.

Mendez continues the streak of success with Vanessa (1982). Suspenseful endings will play a part of the pull audiences have of her stories, Vanessa is no exception to the rule. Not only does she paralyze Mexico with her endings, but the whole world turns to watch her endings. With Vanessa, she becomes the first star to be killed in a nationalized television production. The world would be shocked as the movie transcends borders. She goes on to sing the theme song that will sought after fans, that will never be compiled on her albums. The production team decides not to cut it because it may detract from her fame has pop singer, where some critics may say that it used that track has a pull for cd buyers.
Since then, I have grown to appreciate my name.

I did some digging into the photograph that I have so willingly put into my Yahoo 360. It is José Domingo Noriega's "Ladina disfrazada de mariposa." s.f...."Ladino woman in butterfly costume." n.d. It was most likely taken sometime during the 1890's through the 1930's. It is part of a collection of glass plates of photographs taken by Noriega and other Guatemalan photographers that are being rescued by CIRMA, the Center for Mesoamerican Research, a non-profit foundation founded in 1978 and based in Antigua, Guatemala.

The three photographers - Yas, Noriega, and Zanotti - produced arguably the most extensive photographs on culture and ethnicity in Guatemala in the late 19 th and early 20th centuries. Their images document the evolving nature of interethnic relations in Guatemala, the emerging syncretism and dialogue between native cultures and Western culture, and the broad cultural change provoked by the expansion of the coffee industry as of the late 19th century. At a time when virtually all other photographers focused on the metropolitan elite in the nation's capital, these three revealed the rapidly changing cultures in the interior of the country.
In Guatemala, ladino refers to non-indigenous Guatemalans or mestizos...a mix of Spanish and Native American.

I hope that this new blog lives a lot longer than my last one. I am backing up my posts in text files. What I miss the most about my old blog are the comments that everyone wrote.

Thank you for adding this Mariposa Pensativa. I hope to learn a lot more about all of you.



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