Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz Dna Is Being Analyzed
Mexican geneticists face the task of analyzing the DNA of skeletal remains that were found in 1978 by physical anthropologist Arturo Romano Pacheco in the Cloister of Sor Juana located in the Historic Center of Mexico City, and according to evidence anthropological, belonging to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico’s most important female poet.
This analysis will be conducted at the Laboratory of Genetics and Molecular Biology Research Center and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) National Polytechnic Institute, with a team of scientists led by Dr. Maria de Lourdes Muñoz Moreno, and the Department Process and Technology of the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM).
The initial phase of the project that aims to determine the origin and authenticity of the remains presumed to belong to the Mexican poet who lived and died on the premises of the former convent, is joined by writer Elena Poniatowska and cultural promoter Jesusa Rodríguez .
When in 1978 the skeletal remains were discovered, several elements were found to assume the skeleton belonged to the tenth muse: the skeleton in particular was under the other multiple burials, it was the only one inside a box, and most importantly, they found remains of a medallion similar to the one that Sor Juana wore habitually and a rosary made from seeds like hers. An anthropometric examination also established that the remains could match hers.
In late March 2011, Maria de Lourdes Muñoz Moreno obtained DNA samples from living descendants of the sister of Sor Juana, membesr of the Ramírez España family and Iliana Troncoso, who now live in Mexico, with the purpose of comparison with the DNA from one of the vertebrae of Sor Juana.
Genetic screening could be clarified, but that's not all. Specialists of the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) also seek to confirm the ethnicity of Sor Juana.
"She was born in Mexico, but both her parents were spanish. Therefore, we should not find DNA of indigenous origin," says Lourdes Muñoz, head of the scientific equipment.
There is also further evidence, to compare the samples with those drawn from other bones placed in a Catholic church in Mexico City which presumably belong to the mother of the poet.
Should the investigation, which could last eight months, found traces of native DNA, there would be only one conclusion: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz would still be missing.
In parallel with the completion of this investigation, the authorities of the Cloister of Sor Juana, the former convent where the poet died are studying the site where the skeleton will remain in the coming years to determine if they will continue in the Cloister, where the poet desired to be buried, or be moved to the Rotunda of Illustrious Men in the Dolores Cemetery in Mexico City.