The Visual and the Material in the Glocal Narratives of Historical Archives: The Fall of Tenochtitlan and its Reverberations in Malabar

V. Kezia Anna

The unlikely reverberations of the fall of Tenochtitlan on Malabar (present day Kerala) is the focus of this study. Trade and religion are the twin components that makes this interlinking possible. From mapping the history of Christianity in Malabar, trade routes in ancient times, the arrival of the Portuguese and reshaping of trade and religion in Malabar, and connecting it with the Spanish arrival in Mexico, religious significance post-conquest, expansion of Spanish empire to include the Philippines, the advent of the Spanish-Manila galleons, the paper seeks to establish the Mexico – Malabar interconnectedness through the glocal world of historical archives. A brief overview of the visual and material cultures in these historical narratives also throws interesting insights into how images circulate in glocal societies. 

Keywords: Malabar, Mexico, Kerala, glocal societies, historical archives, visual culture, material culture


The reverberations of the 1521 fall of the ancient city of Mexico – Tenochtitlan, on the small south-Indian region of Malabar1, which includes the present-day state of Kerala may seem incongruous to say the least. Its incongruity would stem from the division of the world along Portuguese and Spanish worlds and its apparent non-mingling. Malabar being part of the Portuguese faction and Mexico, a part of the Spanish, points to an outward distancing that seem unbreachable. My fascination with the 1521 incident started right at home with the beautiful Our Lady of Guadalupe adorning our walls. The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe with folded hands, brown benevolent face, long flowing robes, accompanied by smaller, four images of Juan Diego’s encounter, painted separately around the Virgin led me through the history of this apparition and its prologue of the 1521 Spanish invasion. So did the archives on transatlantic slave trade routes involving the Spanish Manila Galleons, where Malabar became an unlikely and sporadic, but an interesting transit point. The first recorded Indian to reach Mexico was apparently a slave from Calicut2 who was cook to a Mexican bishop and another important migration was that of a young woman taken as slave via Cochin, who went on to be associated with the China Poblana and a long history associated with her in Mexico. These and many such narratives intermingling Malabar and Mexico; altering landscapes, cultures and ethos of two distinct, but glocalized societies across space and time is the focus of this study. All of these also brings us to a very dynamic space –one that merges the glocal world of historical archives and that of the visual and material culture. 

Mapping the Mexico – Malabar Intermingling: Confluence of Religion and Trade

As with Mexico, the southern Indian coastal state of Kerala too has its history riddled with the colonial invasion. Around a decade before the territory of Tenochtitlan in Mexico was claimed by Spain in the 1500s, Malabar encountered Spain’s neighbour, the Portuguese, first for trade and later marking it as their territory. Religion is one of the dynamic institutions that the colonists brought with them, changing the socio-cultural fabric of the place. But even before the arrival of the colonists, Kerala had practicing Christians among its population. The history of Catholicism in India is rooted in Kerala, with the belief that St. Thomas first arrived here. This was centuries before the arrival of the Portuguese. The traditional account follows that the Apostle landed on the Malabar coast through the ancient port of Muziris3 in the first century CE, establishing seven Catholic communities here and dying a martyr at Mylapore. Paul Pallath in his The Catholic Church in India (2016) has described how the Catholic Church through the ages have tried to establish this narrative through historical archives pertaining to the Muziris, patristic texts from the 4th and 5th century CE, ancient Martyrologies and liturgical calendars, apocryphal writings such as the Acts of Thomas (early 3rd century), The Doctrine of the Apostles (3rd century) and Passio Thomae (4th century), oral traditions and folk ballads like the Margamkalipattu (the song-dance of the Way), Rambanpattu (Song of the Ramban) or Thomaparvam (ballad of Thomas) etc. (p.p 20-33)

There have been counter narratives which negates St. Thomas ever landing in Kerala, citing lack of primary evidences. But the former view is more prevalent in modern history, especially with collective consciousness gaining ground as a tool to reconstruct history. Works of Marc Bloch in reconstructing feudal France and D.D. Kosambi in reconstructing ancient India, with the help of oral traditions, historical proverbs and folklores, makes use of the shared collective consciousness of the people in present times along with historical archives.4 Another Christian group which arrived in Kerala was the one led by Thomas of Cana, a merchant of Jewish origin from Syria, arriving between the 4th century and 9th century CE, integrating with the other Christians in the state. Primary evidences of their arrival have been found and documented in various historical archives. The lost Thomas of Cana copper plate5 and its mention in historical narratives attest to this as well as Malabar’s interconnectedness with other lands. So, these Christians, together known as the St. Thomas Christians and later the Syrian Christians, had been practicing the Christian religion, riddled with Hindu customs and an ethnic way of worship. Historians have described the pre-Portuguese St. Thomas Christians as “Hindu in culture, Christian in religion and Oriental in worship” (Placid Podipara). By the time the Portuguese arrived in Kerala the culture they saw included a group of Christians practicing their religion, but in an entirely different manner.6 

The history of the Iberian transatlantic trade closely intersects with religion, with the Vatican playing a very important role. The “age of discovery” was a race between the European nations to establish trade and to gain political and religious footholds. While for the Portuguese, Vasco da Gama circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope to reach the Calicut port in Kerala in 1498, it was the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus whose voyage, looking for an alternative route to India, that took him to the Americas. The Spaniard Hernán Cortés’ arrival in Veracruz was in 1519 and Fernando de Magallanes organised an expedition which circumvented the globe. The Iberian globalization of the world in the sixteenth century, and the Roman Catholic church is significant in the formation of glocal societies in Asia and America. The Vatican division of the world saw the Portuguese padroado and the Spanish patronato real, and an outward non-mingling between the two empires.7 The idea of a conceptually and administratively different empires can be seen in the Treaty of Tordesillas signed in 1494 by Castille and Portugal and its further ratification by the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529. The Union of Crowns in 1580, when Philip II of Spain also became the ruler of Portugal, too sought to uphold the distinctness of the two empires, though by this time, a slow blurring of the lines of the composite empires can be seen as the Spanish made inroads into Asian lands, especially in Manila by Miguel Lo´pez de Legazpi who led a Spanish fleet there in 1564 – 1565. Many historical works too have attempted to reify these Iberian empires to make the contrasts between the two even more stark, though of course, some of the differences between the two empires are revealing, as with the Spanish encomienda and land conquests in contrast to the trade monopoly and maritime strength of the Portuguese.8 It is often rare to see studies dealing with their intermingling, in spite of their colonial enterprises having a similar timeframe. But, in spite of such a rarity, unusual exceptions like the Tratado dos Descobrimentos (Treatise on the Discoveries) of Anto´nio Galva˜o, which appeared in print in the early 1560s, tries to treat the Iberian empires as originating from the same movements, even having Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés, mentioned together. Also, in the early sixteenth century, when the empires were in their nascent stages, Portugal and Castile can be seen to have instances of shared history with the first viceroy of the Portuguese Indies, Dom Francisco de Almeida, spending time at Granada, a Spanish colony, Spaniard Sancho de Tovar captaining Portuguese expedition ships to Asia, and much later the shared history of the Spanish and the Portuguese concerning the Jesuits, among others. (Sanjay Subrahmaniyan) The Portuguese explorer and navigator Fernão de Magalhães or Fernando de Magallanes as he is known in Spanish and now popularly known as Ferdinand Magellan, is perhaps one of the most important figures who connect the Spanish and the Portuguese of the 1500s. 

Vasco da Gama’s arrival at the Calicut port in 1498 did not exactly usher in a trade agreement considering the burgeoning Asian trade9 already in place where perfumes, metals and steel from Arab lands, Chinese silk and other precious commodities like gold and silver already flowing in, in exchange for the spices of Kerala; and the offer of lambel, hoods, hats, hand-wash basin, honey and sugar by Gama to the King of Calicut, known as the Samoodhiri Raja or the Zamorin, was mostly ridiculed. Gama had to return back with the discovery of the sea route to this land and very little spices. The following years saw more Portuguese attempts to establish trade in Kerala, with Pedro Alvares Cabral reaching the Calicut port in 1500 and securing permission from the Zamorin to establish a factory and a warehouse there. However, the Portuguese demand for direct trade agreement to the exclusion of the Arabs, is thought to have triggered attacks against their establishment, considering the large presence of Arabs in Calicut10, resulting in the killing of many Portuguese men and Cabral retaliating back. His further trade at two other ports in Kerala – Cochin and Cannanore, often at war with the more powerful Zamorins, were a success. By 1504, Portuguese had sent six armadas to the state and had managed to establish alliances with Calicut’s neighbouring rivals including Cochin, Cannanore and Quilon.11 They built many forts to protect their commercial interests with their first fort at Cochin which they named after their King, Fort Manuel, behind which they built their establishments, including the first Portuguese Catholic church. Cochin became the seat of the Portuguese viceroy until 1530, when it shifted to Goa. All these consecutive expeditions also saw an influx of Franciscan missionaries and the conversion of the people of the state and the beginning of Latin Catholicism in Kerala. The seventh armada of 1505 carried none other than Dom Francisco de Almeida, appointed as the first viceroy of India, making Portuguese intentions very clear. The mission was two-fold; to secure their position in the Indian ocean, edging out the Arab trade and to establish a foothold in India. The presence of earlier Christians during this time can be seen in a narrative where one of the caravels captained by João Homem reached the Quilon port, a month after Almeida’s arrival in India, after being separated at Cape.  Homem gets involved in a feud between the Portuguese trader António de Sá and the Quilon regent. The latter had been resisting De Sá’s persistent demands to stop spice trade with Arab merchants who had arrived to Quilon from Calicut. Homen and De Sá’ went on to damage Arab ships in the harbour, bringing on the ire of the Quilon regent, costing Portuguese an important port. The locals too turned against the Portuguese and they had to take shelter in the church of the St. Thomas Christians or the Syrian Christians, which was burnt and razed to the ground by the angry mob. The Quilon massacre saw many Portuguese losing their lives.12

The seventh Portuguese armada also carried Ferdinand Magellan who enlisted as crew. Magellan was in India for eight years, fighting battles for the Portuguese and there are accounts of him being injured during the Battle of Cannanore. He was also part of the successful Portuguese expedition from India to Malacca in 1511 and later to Morocco from Portugal. The Asian spice island, Moluccas, was Magellan’s dream. After his fallout with King Manuel of Portugal, he naturalized himself as a subject of Carlos I of Spain, convincing him regarding an expedition to Moluccas without breaching the Treaty of Tordesillas through a southwest passage, securing a royal capitulacion in 1518, with the help of Casa de Contratacion officials like Juan de Arnada, Bishop of Burgos Juan de Fonseca and others. Magellan, who set sail in 1519, reached the Archipelago of San Lazaro (at Cebu), afterwards called the Philippines, in 1521 enduring harsh conditions, mutiny, deserting of fellow ships, and most importantly discovering the elusive straits, now known as the Magellan straits. The detailed account by the Italian Antonio Pigafetta of Vicenza, who was part of the expedition is very important in this regard.13 Though Magellan was not able to reach Moluccas, being killed at the island of Mactan near the Philippines, this was the beginning of the Spanish presence in Asia, opening up new trade routes and the famed Manila galleons later on. 

The year 1521 also marked another decisive incident for the Spanish empire – that of the fall of Tenochtitlan. After Juan de Grijalva’s expedition to Yucatán in 1518, Hernán Cortés led an expedition to Mexico, arriving in 1519. After the prolonged war against Moctezuma, the Emperor of the Aztec triple alliance of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan, and heavy causalities on both sides, Tenochtitlan finally fell into the hands of the Spanish in 1521. Cortés was  named the captain-general of New Spain and Mexico City built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. The historical accounts of the Fall of Tenochtitlan include letters written by Cortés himself, indigenous accounts, accounts by Spanish conquistadors like Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Juan Díaz, García del Pilar, and Fray Francisco de Aguilar among others, who wrote benemérito petitions to the Spanish Crown, requesting rewards for the services they render in the conquests.14

It was not until 1565, after three failed expeditions to Philippines, that the Spanish, led by Miguel López de Legazpi, could finally establish a permanent settlement there, and this was three decades after Magellan made landfall at Cebu and the Spanish city of Manila being established in 1571. (William Lytle Schurz) The frustration of the failed expeditions is reflected in a letter which the Spanish Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier wrote to Simão Rodrigues in 1552, asking that no more fleets be dispatched along the New Spain – Philippines’ route, lest there be more failures.15 This was the time when Francis Xavier under the Portuguese Padroado agreement, was in India and the East Indies, converting thousands in India, China, Japan, Malaysia etc.  He set up many Jesuit schools and colleges in these lands. In Kerala, The School of the Mother of God at Cochin and Thana, The School at Quilon were established. The Jesuit dedication towards scholarly and scientific pursuits can be witnessed in their efforts to write about the local culture as can be seen in an Italian Jesuit of the Calicut Mission, Giacome Fenicio’s (1558-1632), account of the Hindu culture and other efforts to master the puranas, Devanagari script and Sanskrit, compiling dictionaries and treaties on grammar and lexicon of the host languages.16 

The Manila – Acapulco galleon trade began in 1565 when the Spanish navigators Alonso de Arellano and Andrés de Urdaneta discovered the eastward return route. The master craftsmen of the galleons were Filipinos. The galleons to Acapulco carried all kinds of valuables from across Asia, including slaves, which were transported to Mexico City by land and American goods were carried from Mexico to Manila. The vast networks that the Manilla galleon encompassed, structured a global economy, effecting a process of globalization of the modern age or protoglobalization.17  

Slave trade was a regular feature which redefined lands and peoples. The Galleon slave trade was based on the slave market in Manila, where slaves from diverse regions were available for purchase for the Mexico – bound merchants. Malabar coast was right at its matrix, with many from this region being sold all over the world as well as the ports of Cochin, Quilon and Calicut becoming sites of transit. Centuries before the Spanish galleons plied the waters, slave trade have been practiced in the Malabar. The case of the Jewish merchant Abraham Ben Yijû and his Nayar manumitted slave Aúu (Ashu), from Malabar of the twelfth century is one such case.18 The first known Indian in Mexico was a slave from Calicut, named Juan Núñez, accompanying Juan de Zumárraga, the first bishop of Mexico. Núñez was bought from Spain as Zumárraga’s cook and in a will dated June 2, 1548, he has emancipated the cook. Another early resident of Indian origin by way of Spain was a Bengali named Jerónimo Pacheco, who was Miguel López de Legazpi’s interpreter on his expedition to Manilla. Once the Manilla slave market started to flourish, a large number of slaves were brought by Portuguese traders from the Malabar coast. Archives in Spain and Mexico have documented individual slave details and from among one hundred and ninety slaves, nineteen have been found to be from Malabar. (Seijas, Tatiana)  

One of the most significant slave narratives is that of Catarina de San Juan, captured as a young girl by Portuguese traders and brought to the Cochin port to be sold as slave in Manilla and thereafter reaching Mexico. The China Pablona is something that has captured the imagination of the Mexicans and her image is all pervasive. Gauvin Alexander Bailey narrates how popular imagination sees her in different ways – as an ancient Chinese princess, the image of the embroidered blouse and rebozo shawl, a symbol of Mexican womanhood, when the real China Poblana was actually of an Indian origin, probably Mughal, captured by Portuguese traders, making the journey to Mexico at a young age. Her real name was Mirra and after her capture by the Portuguese, she was taken to Cochin. At Cochin, she is baptized and is christened Catarina de San Juan by the Jesuit missionaries. She is then taken to Manilla where she has a long stay and later purchased by Poblano captain Miguel de Sosa. She arrived in Acapulco in 1621. Starting out as a slave, she rose through the ranks to be designated a servant and then to an anchorite after her piety and visions became known. There are three different narratives on her, which do not intersect always; one being the funeral sermon, preached by Jesuit Francisco de Aguilera, and two are by her confessors, Jesuit Alonso Ramos, who wrote a three-volume life of Catarina, and a parish priest, José del Castillo Grajeda, who wrote hagiographies of her life. 

While the history of Christianity in Malabar region mapped out previously attests to a shared link of Latin Catholicism in Mexico and Kerala, which began in with the Iberian conquests, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe too serves a similar purpose in contemporary times. In Mexico, her image is linked to the oral and documentary tradition which recounts the incident of the Virgin Mary appearing to Nahua Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in 1531 and Mary’s image miraculously stamped on Diego’s cactus fibre cloak (tilma). This image is at the heart of Mexico’s iconography and has had different impressions for various groups, with indigenista hermeneutics on one hand and a symbol of mediation between people of different cultural backgrounds and status on the other.19 In Kerala, Guadalupe Mathavu, as she is known here, serves a similar purpose, at least for some faction of the society. In places like Pala in Kerala, where the Syro-Malabar Christians are a majority with their ancient history and claim to a “superior” caste,20 the “lower” rung Latin Catholics who frequent the same churches as the Syro – Malabar Christians often complain about the treatment meted out to them, not letting them get ahead in socio-cultural-religious practices.21 In one case, the church had the ingenuity to establish Guadalupe Mathavu for the Latins, who has become a symbol of mediation for both groups, as both equally venerate her. 

The Visual and Material in the Mexico – Malabar Interconnectedness:  An Overview

Historical archives in itself are visual in nature with its textual record of what was seen – like the cartography, art, religion, food, clothing, and everyday life of a community. Ancient manuscripts, inscriptions, grants etc offer a rich repository of the visual and the material. The visual and the material culture that is pivotal in mapping the trajectory of the Mexico – Malabar interconnectedness can help in reifying these glocal societies. 

The discussion on the unlikely interconnectedness starts with trade. For Malabar, the material histories of pepper and other spices22 as well as the ships of Beypore23 helps us reconstruct the ancient Malabar – its ports, trade routes, rivers, migration of people, merchant guilds – providing a fabric of the society. A closely allied material and visual history would be the grants issued to migrant merchants, like the Thomas of Cana and Quilon copper plates. The translations associated with it are also important.24 As with Malabar, trade was one of the dominant aspects that impacted the visual and material culture of the Mexico too, especially after the Manila Galleons. The construction of the galleon, trade items like porcelain, jade, silk, chests, lacquerware, amber, cotton, rugs, culinary relishes and other materials narrate a history of their own, altering cultures and societal practices. (Schurz, William Lytle)

This brings us to the glocal world of Christian religious iconography. Malabar’s mural tradition can be seen in many old churches. The oldest church murals in Malabar can be seen in St. George Orthodox Syrian Church at Cheppad dated around thirteenth century. Among the periodization mentioned by Jenee Peter in “The Mural Traditions in Indian Churches: Contextualising Church Murals of Kerala”, three of the periods of mural art include – Pre-Portuguese tradition (c. 1000-1200 CE); Portuguese tradition (c. 1500-1700 CE) further sub-divided into Early Portuguese (c. 1500-1600 CE), considered the Golden Age of Portuguese paintings and Late Portuguese (c. 1600-1700 CE). Architecture of this time too show glocality.25 The Christian murals, architecture and sculptures of Mexico also underscores its glocality with the amalgamation of European and Mexican art, both in content and form. “Exploring Mexican Hybrid Baroque: New Perspectives on Colonial Architectural Sculpture” by Maxine Compean studies how the indigenous and Mestizo styles have fused with the Spanish baroque styles resulting in a hybrid style. 

One prominent Mexican iconography that has received a colonial reinterpretation is that of the Quetzalcoatl. Some Franciscans like Toribio de Benavente who arrived in Mexico in 1524, and whose ethnographic accounts of the Nahuas gives much insights regarding the Aztecs post-conquest, tried to establish St. Thomas’ arrival in Mesoamerica centuries ago and later Franciscans has linked Quetzalcoatl to St. Thomas. (D. A. Brading) This narrative, obviously one of colonial appropriation, draws on Portuguese narratives of St. Thomas in Malabar, his tomb at Mylapore and the imagery of the peacock26 which was yoked with the feathers of the Quetzalcoatl iconography. 27

Another Christian iconography linking religion and trade to connect the visual and material history of Mexico and Malabar is that of Catarina de San Juan. The visions of Catarina are of considerable interest and the visual culture it generated with the viceregal mystic quality it had, inspiring numerous art and also being inspired by it. It is recorded that she had a vision of facies Christi in the altar of St. Ignatius in the church of the Compañía, allegedly on the ship enroute to Cochin after her capture by the Portuguese. These and many of her mystical visions and prophecies like the images of Virgin Mary like Our Lady of Guadalupe, Loreto, the images of Jesus at every stage of His life, and others including martyrs, angels, prophets, etc, have been studied. In spite of Catarina   de San   Juan’s   image and   cult being banned after the Inquisition in 1690, her popularity continues unabated precisely because of the visuality featuring her and her visions, altering the cultural ethos of Mexico. (Bailey, Gauvin Alexander)

Perhaps the one image, which has transcended space and time is that of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The image has also evolved over the centuries with the Virgin reproduced in different ways and later Diego too featuring in the paintings. The circulation of this image across oceans, over the centuries have a history of conquests, trade, religion, artistic practices, underscoring the complex dimensions that the visual and the material cultures have in lived experiences, impacting the present in ways that are intriguingly complex, to say the least. Today, Catholicism in Kerala still thrives and Our Lady of Guadalupe is part of its matrix, having churches after her, statues of her brought from Mexico and also those reproductions sculpted and painted in Kerala , pro-life enthusiasts venerating her as the guardian of the unborn and the Virgin of the New Spain influencing the life of a community far away from where it all began, but interlinked as history attests.  


The fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521 was a decisive event in global history with reverberations all over the world. Its reverberation in Malabar, however unlikely, can be found in the annals of the glocal world of historical archives. This paper examines the influence of religion and trade on the glocal societies of Mexico and Malabar in ancient and medieval times, establishing connections between the two. Visual and material history too attests to this. Its reverberations continues even today and I am sure there would be more to explore, as with culinary practices, botanical exchanges, and many other visual, religious, material performances and practices, that would account for glocality of cultures linking Mexico and Kerala. 


1 Though Malabar is generic to geographically include the whole of the southwestern coastal line of India, my use of the term is mostly in relation to its ancient and medieval history, when Muziris, Calicut, Cochin, Canannore and Quilon, all part of the present-day Kerala, were important ports.  See K.M. Panikkar’s (1929) Malabar and the Portuguese: Being a History of the Relations of the Portuguese with Malabar from 1500 to 1663.
2 Calicut, now Kozhikode, is a historic coastal city in Kerala, which during the classical and medieval times was a major trading port of spices, ruled by the Sammoothiri Raja or the Zamorins. See M.G.S. Narayanan’s Calicut: The City of Truth Revisited (2006), Calicut: University of Calicut. 
3 Muziris is an ancient port in Malabar near Cochin, which is believed to have been destroyed by a massive flooding in 1341. The exact geographical site of Muziris is still contested but its role in impacting the social formation of Kerala, with its massive trade relations and migrations has been decisive. See Pius Malekandathil’s “Muziris and the Trajectories of Maritime Trade in the Indian Ocean in the First Millennium CE” (pp 339 – 368) in Imperial Rome, Indian Ocean Regions and Muziris: New Perspectives on Maritime Trade edited by K.S. Mathew (2017), London: Routledge.
4 See Malekandathil, Pius (2018), “Debate on the Apostolate of St.Thomas in Kerala: A Response”, Journal of St.Thomas Christians, vol. 29, no.2, July-December, pp.32-58. Reproduced at (Feb 2021).
5 The Thomas of Cana copper plates, dated between 4th and 9th century, refers to the lost copper plate grants given by the then Chera or Perumal king of Kerala to the Jewish – Christian immigrants from Syria led by Thomas of Cana, granting them economic and social privileges. A later copper plate known as the Quilon Syrian copper plates dated 9th century translated in 1601 and 1758 by Syrian Christian priest Ittimani and French scholar A. H. Anquetil-Duperron respectively mention the arrival of Thomas of Cana, though the copper plates available now do not mention the event. See István Perczel’s “Syriac Christianity in India” Retrieved 10.4324/9781315708195-34.
6 The Christianity practiced by St. Thomas Christians or the Syrian Christians followed the Eastern Catholic liturgy and not the Latin liturgy of the Vatican followed by the Portuguese. Assimilation and inculturation of Hindu culture was part of their religious ethos, for instance, the temple architecture of churches, Hindu customs like thali charthal (wedding chain), prasadam (sweet offerings returned to the devotees), and other ceremonies exclusively followed by them even today. The Portuguese considered many of their practices as pagan. The Synod of Diamper of 1599 was instrumental in abolishing many of the customs practiced by them. See Anand Amaladass’ “Dialogue between the Hindus and the St. Thomas Christians” ed Coward, Harold, (1993). Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Perspectives and Encounters. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.
7 An understanding of the historical and theological implications of the Iberian colonization and Vatican’s role in it can be read in “Iberian Globalization and the Rise of Catholic Theology of Religions in the XVI Century” by Enrico Beltramini. 
8 A reified view of the Portuguese and Spanish overseas empires, can be seen in, Ceremonies of Possession in Europe’s Conquest of the New World: 1492-1640, by Patricia Seed (1995) where the speeches of the Spaniards before a military attack or the cartography of the Portuguese are historic cultural contexts, which underscore the two empires’ distinctness.
9 For Malabar’s long history in the Indian ocean before the arrival of the Portuguese, see which concisely mentions important archival literature connected with this.
10 See Mehrdad Shokoohy’s “Malabar Muslim Inscriptions” in Malabar in the Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanism in a Maritime Historical Region edited by Mahmood Kooria and Michael N. Pearson, which studies the Malabari Muslim presence through inscriptions found in Calicut, Cochin and Quilon from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. 
11 Like how the Spanish found allies in Tlaxcala, Totonacapan, and Zaachila to bring about the fall of Tenochtitlan, Portuguese allies against the Calicut were Cochin, Cannanore and Quilon. 
12 A history of the Portuguese encounter with Kerala, including a prologue to the event, and the interactions that happened since Vasco da Gama’s arrival in 1498 till 1663, when the Dutch overthrew the Portuguese can be seen in James John’s The Portuguese and the Socio-Cultural Changes in Kerala: 1498 to 1663. 
13 See Magellan’s Voyage around the World by Antonio Pigafetta –translated by James Alexander Robertson, Cleveland: The Arthur H. Clark Company (1906).
14 Rereading the Conquest: Power, Politics, and the History of Early Colonial Michoacán, Mexico, 1521-1565 by James Krippner-Martínez, James Krippner-Martnez · 2001 takes into account several primary and secondary sources to of the conquest. 
15 See The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier (1992) edited by M. Joseph Costelloe, Institute of Jesuit Sources. 
16 S. J. Jose Kalapura ‘s “The Legacy of Francis Xavier: Jesuit Education in India, 16th – 18th Centuries” gives an account of the educational pursuits, educational establishments and scholarly contributions of the Jesuits. 
17 See The Age of Trade: The Manila Galleons and the Dawn of the Global Economy by Arturo Giraldez.
18 See Amitav Ghosh, ‘The Slave of MS. H.6’, Subaltern Studies, 7 (1993).
19 See “The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Painting of New Spain” by Clara Bargellini.
20 Ibid., 4
21 This observation is based on narratives by personal acquaintances who frequent the church. Instances of being overlooked in the conduct of rites at church, of being considered inferior, especially with regard to ‘inter-caste’ marriages etc. feature in these narratives. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at Pala was established in 2006. 
22 See Sebastian R Prange’s “’Measuring by the Bushel’: Reweighing the Indian Ocean Pepper Trade”.
23 See V. Kunhali, “Construction of Indian Vessels in 16th Century Malabar” and James Hornell’s “The Origins and Ethnological Significance of Indian Boat Design”.
24 Ibid., 5
25 See Brownrigg Henry’s “Portuguese, Syrian and Kerala Elements in the Church Architecture of the St. Thomas Christians”. 
26 Ibid., 4 
27 See Mariano Fernández de Echeverría y Veytia, Historia Antigua de Méjico, Vol. 1. (Mexico City: Juan Ojeda, 1836) pp 95.


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V. Kezia Anna
Assistant Professor of English
SNGS College
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Ph: +91 8281954291
ORCID: 0009-0009-5400-1117