Feast of Corpus Christi

In this exibit are photographs documenting different aspects of the Feast of Corpus Christi, celebrated every year throughout the Catholic Church. These photographs come from the Archives of the Jesuits West Province and depict Corpus Christi Feasts at various Jesuit missions on the Colombian Plateau in the early 20th century. Once thought of by the Jesuits as a pristine Native paradise, the Plateau was one of the last regions in the United States to come into direct contact with White culture. 

The photographs in this exhibit are a conglomoration of various Corpus Christi Feasts at Jesuit missions across the Plateau in the mid-1920s. 

Much of the textual information provided in this exhibit comes from the first hand accounts of Edward Griva, a Jesuit missionary to the Plateau in the early 20th century. While on the Plateau, Griva diligently documented his expeirences in a journal, providing a window into the religious interactions between Natives and Whites. In a seperate account, Griva gives a detailed record of his involvement in, and observations of, multiple Corpus Christi Feasts in May and June of 1926.

In conjunction, the photographs and primary source documents demonstrate the ways in which Natives interacted with, and participated in, an important yearly Jesuit ritual, as seen through a White lens. 

The Feast of Corpus Christi was a highly ceremonial affair, including a great procession with multiple benedictions along the way. This exhibit showcases the various stages of the celebration: leaving the church, processing, stopping for benedicitons, and returning to the church. The photographs are ogranized into subpages based on the stages of the celebration they depict.


Michael McAtee, Matt Sheber Howard