Homer's Travels: Notre Dame, Mary, and Wiraqocha

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Notre Dame, Mary, and Wiraqocha

I mentioned in an earlier post that the wife builds a shrine next to the TV when she watches Notre Dame football. While most of the readers may already be aware of this, a few of you may not be familiar with the wife's football habits. Here is a picture of the shrine. The main components are a Fighting Irish Leprechaun figurine, a statue of Mary draped with a rosary, and a lit candle ( a green candle, of course). The rosary was purchased at the Notre Dame bookstore during our visit in 2004 (Purdue vs. Notre Dame - my last live game - Notre Dame lost). The Sun in the background was purchased in Taos, New Mexico back in 1998 and has been on the speaker ever since.

The statue of Mary is from Peru. We bought her in a market in the town of Pisac. My clumsiness resulted in Mary being dropped before we even got back on the bus but fortunately the wife managed to repair her when we got home. There is some significance to the shape of Mary's vestments. When the Spanish conquered the Incas, they converted all of the natives. The natives were recruited to build the churches and statuary. The local artisans would combine the Christian symbols with their own Incan symbols. The triangular shape of Mary's vestments represents the sacred mountains where
Wiraqocha, the Sun God, and the Moon Goddess lived. Mary is often shown with a halo - a Christian symbol that also represents the rays of the Sun at the top of the mountain. I guess its appropriate that the Sun is in the shrine since that is the most important god to the Inca and fits in with the symbolism of the Mary statue.

The shrine seems to be working since Notre Dame is having a winning season. Go Irish!

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