From 1565 to approximately 1815 there existed a lucrative trade between Spanish merchants and traders in the Philippine Islands using Acapulco and Veracruz ports in Mexico as transshipment points and using Guam as a rest stop on the long voyage across the sea. Since the Philippines had been a center of trade between China and other Asian countries like Siam and India for hundreds of years, even including major trade with Islamic peoples, the Spanish encountered many items that contained different cultural accoutrements. Thus, the ships that sailed from Spain to Veracruz then from Acapulco to the Philippine archipelago brought back to Mexico items of trade, as well as people, which over time became a part of the Mexican folklore tradition.
This exhibit examines some of these Mexican traditions and traces them to the trade that took place with the Philippines, especially through the port of Manila. Such Mexican icons as la China poblana, majólica pottery, papel de china, etc. are examined and their roots traced to the Manila trade which employed large galleon ships called "Naos" to transport merchandise and people. Thus, the title: "Nao de China: The Manila Trade, 1565 – 1815." This exhibit will remain on view through May 30, 2009 and will be accompanied by a series of lectures and public presentations that will be announced at a later date.
Nao de China: The Manila Galleon Trade 1565-1815 Exhibit brochure (PDF