February 2017 ends in New Orleans with the climax of the Carnival season, Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday! The Latin American Library celebrates with two images from recent acquisitions to the Image Archive. The first is from the Viki Ospina Photograph Collection that contains over 400 photographic images by Colombian photographer, Vicki Ospina. The collection highlights her long career documenting late 20th century urban and rural spaces, social life, cultures, and politics in a wide variety of Colombia regions. Above left is a shot of the Gran Marimonda figure being paraded during the 1985 Carnival celebration in Barranquilla, Colombia. The Marimonda is an iconic clown figure in Colombian carnival celebrations. This popular tradition began as a costume created by a barranquillero to mock society elites. He dressed up in old trousers, vest, tie, and a flour sack with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth outlined by a stuffed fabric tube ending in a long nose.
Our second featured resource is the Marcelo Martínez Palma Collection of Stereoscopic Slides of Yucatán. A medical doctor and amateur photographer, Martínez Palma documented the landscapes and lifestyles of northern Yucatán during the early 20th century. His themes include the urban culture of the capital city of Mérida, the workings of a henequen or sisal plantation, and the archaeological ruins at Chichén Itzá to name only a few. The 3,300 images are on stereoscopic glass slides meant to be viewed through a table top stereoscope viewer that would render the side-by-side pictures on glass as a single image in 3-D. Carnival celebrations were another favorite theme of Dr. Martinéz. Above right is a single side of a stereoscopic slide showing the La Unión float in a 1913 Carnival parade in Mérida.
To learn more about these two incredible photograph collections and other Carnival related materials, contact us to view them in the Latin American Library Reading Room or search our database using the Quick Link above.
Christine Hernández, Curator of Special Collections