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The Valladolid letters, the meaning of the art.

The Valladolid Letters
We are sure you will see the new Valladolid sign and then wonder, what do they mean?

During your visit to Valladolid Yucatan, you must visit the Convento de San Bernardino de Siena and also the Valladolid letters with the name of our Town.

Many cities in Mexico have letters made with the town’s name. In particular, these signs are so colorful that they become a perfect frame for a souvenir photo.

The sign with the name of Valladolid was updated last year. As a result, each letter has paintings that showcase the history and culture of Valladolid Yucatan.

The Valladolid Letters
The Valladolid sign, before the update.

Each of the Valladolid letters composition and colors is impressive, and there is exceptional craftsmanship by the artist: Carolina Carrillo.

Carolina is a local artist. In this interview, she explains more about Valladolid’s new sign and her artistic style.

Watch the interview and meet Carolina.

Meet Carolina Carrillo, Vallisoletana artist.

The Valladolid letters: What is the meaning?

Each letter depicts an element of the culture and history of Valladolid.

Letters: V, A, L, L, A.

The first letter presents a Mayan warrior, and it is a tribute to the Mayan civilization that existed in this area for millenia.

The second represents a Spanish conqueror. The characters look at each other, reflecting on the changes ahead.

The third letter showcases a traditional dress, a mix of Mayan and Spanish culture. The traditional Mayan dress is decorated with Spanish embroidery.

Religion takes the next two letters. First, we see the saint patron of Valladolid: la Virgen de la Candelaria. Secondly, we see a letter showing the main church of Valladolid: San Servacio.

This church has a peculiar history, as the original building was the scene of an assassination. As a result, the church was demolished in 1705.

In 1706 Valladolid built a new church in a different location. Unlike Yucatecan churches, San Servacio church faces the north and not west.

Meaning of the Letters: D, O, L, I, D.

The next letter has a white hawk, called Zaci in Mayan. In particular, this bird is a symbol of Valladolid and is part of its coat of arms.

In the letter O, the artist captures Valladolid’s nature. Illustrated by the jungle and a majestic jaguar.

The jaguar has a powerful meaning for the Mayans as it has political and shamanic themes, such as the night, the underworld, agriculture, fertility, destruction, and death.

In particular, the artist’s favorite letter. As a result, the quality of detail can be seen specially in the detail in the jaguar’s skin.

The following letter showcases the Jarana, the traditional dance of Yucatan. The dance is illustrated by the famous ‘bomba’: short verses aimed to make people laugh.

The letter i depicts mestiza’s fountain, which is located in the center of Valladolid. Certainly, the fountain represents the Yucatecan woman: a product of the Mayan and Spanish cultures.

The last letter depicts Valladolid’s greatest attraction: Cenote Zaci. An impressive 45-meter wide cenote located downtown.

Who is Carolina Carrillo, the artist behind the Valladolid letters?

Carolina is an empirical artist who identifies with the naive style. Her work focuses mainly on female figures that seem otherworldly.

Besides drawing and painting, she is also working as an illustrator and tattoo artist. Visit Carolina Carrillo’s page on Facebook to learn a little more about her work.

We are very grateful to Carolina for this interview.

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