Santos in Oaxaca's Ancient Churches

A study of santos in 16th-century and other churches in Oaxaca, Mexico


By Claire and Richard Stracke
Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

In Santiago Cuilapan:
Christ Carrying the Cross
Christ on Palm Sunday
Christ Resurrected

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows 1
Our Lady of Sorrows 2
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. James the Moorslayer
St. Joseph
St. Michael the Archangel
Unidentified Dominican
Unidentified Saint
Virgin and Child

Other santos not photographed

Resurrected Christ

Resurrected Christ
The body is of a workingman with powerful legs and a wiry torso. The expression is haughty, the eyes slanted, almost East Asian. The white loincloth is decorated with wide checkerboards of golden crosses within golden borders, broken by vertical bands of feathery arabesques. The flesh and hair have been repainted, leaving little gloss, especially on the face. The musculature is remarkably detailed and lifelike, perhaps facilitated by the use of corn or cane paste in construction. The vexillum is tied to the left hand. The left index finger has been crudely repaired. The three-flame halo is missing the center flame.

Basis for Identification: Raised right hand, loincloth, vexillum, stigmata on hands and chest, halo, no scutum. 

Site: Basilica of Santiago Cuilapan.

Location: On an andas in the second bay of the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Hollow construction. White and gold polychrome loincloth beneath white polyester apron. Hair: carved. Eyes: painted. Closed mouth.

Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del ValleMitla, Teitipac, Teotitlán, TeposcolulaYanhuitlán, Zaachila.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Resurrection of Christ in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Wikipedia: Resurrection of Jesus
Christian Iconography: The Resurrection

Next: Moving ahead to the 3rd bay in the north wall, a statue of the Sacred Heart.

Previous santo

Introduction to Santiago Cuilapan

Santos Home Page

Note: On this site, references to the cardinal directions always assume that the main altar is at the east end of the church, the narthex or entry area at the west end, and the two walls of the nave on the north and south. (The nave is the long central section.) Actual orientations may differ.

The photo shown here is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. You are free to share or remix it on two conditions: first, that you attribute it to the photographers, Claire and Richard Stracke, without implying any approval of your work on their part; second, that if you alter, transform, or build upon this photo, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.