Sunday, March 22, 2015

Historic Figure: Catalina (La India Catalina) - Cartagena, Colombia

(La India Catalina)
Cartagena, Colombia

N 10° 25.295 W 075° 33.144

Short Description: 

A statue of the native American woman known as Catalina, a.k.a. Catalina Indian, a.k.a. La India Catalina is located in front of the International Film Festival of Cartagena offices on the west end of the old walled city Cartagena.

Long Description:

Catalina (La India Catalina) was a native Colombian woman from the Atlantic Coast who lived from about 1495 to 1529. In 1509 she was abducted by Diego de Nicuesa from her settlement of Zamba o Galerazamba and brought to Santo Domingo, in what is now the present day Dominican Republic. There she was converted to Catholicism and learned to speak Spanish. Subsequently she served an an interpreter to the Native Americans for the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Heredia, founder of the city of Cartagena, as he brought present day Colombia under Spanish dominion. She married Alonso Montañez, the nephew of Pedro de Heredia.

A 6' high bronze cast of Cartagena's landmark statue of La India Catalina (Catalina the Indian) is located in front of the Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias building in the old walled city of Cartagena. Catalina is depicted in indigenous native attire consisting of a string thong and a single feather in the middle of her braided hair. She is standing upright on a 18" diameter by 6" high circular bronze plinth. Her head is tilted up and her arms are at her side.

The original sculpture was created by Eladio Gil Zambrana and presented to the people of Cartagena in 1974. It is installed at the Avenida Pedro de Heredia at the eastern end of the city walls. Since then the it as become an iconic symbol of the city. The Cartagena Film Festival has used replicas of this statue as their awards and has an original size copy outside its offices in Cartagena.

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