Hooded Penitent, Segovia, Lomo LCA+

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Normally I like to exclude text from my photographs, but this time I think it’s necessary to provide some context.

I was horrified when I first saw this statue in Segovia. Being relatively well-versed in the history of slavery in the United States, I immediately connected what I saw to the hooded robes worn by the KKK.

In Spain, however, these robes represent a different history. The masks reportedly date back to the Spanish Inquisition, when prisoners were forced to wear them as a mark of humiliation and also to hide the identities of the condemned sinners.

On Easter week, large groups of people wearing robes such as this can be seen marching in processions in complete silence, save only for the solemn beating of a drum, in various regions of Spain.