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 San Miguel Ejutla:
Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ Mocked in the Pretorium
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Assumption
St. Francis of Assisi
St. John the Evangelist
St. Mary Magdalene
Unidentified Dominican Saint
Unidentified Franciscan Saint (1)
Unidentified Franciscan Saint (2)
Virgin Mary in a coffin

Other santos not photographed


Ecce Homo

Christ in the Purple Robe:
Probably a jointed figure that could be used as El Señor de la Misericordia. The figure is looking down with eyebrows arched and head tipped forward. The open hands hang in front. Under the robe, one knee is bent. The form of the mannequin and the angle of the head would permit the figure to be arranged so as to carry the cross, to be crucified, or to lie in a coffin, the head on a pillow.

There is a slight chip in the left side of the moustache. The crown of thorns is in the basketweave pattern. Five small votive figures have been pinned to the robe at the chest.

Basis for Identification: Standing. Crown of thorns, bloody brow, red (not purple) robe.

Other characteristics: Tasseled white cord.

Site: Church of San Miguel Ejutla.

Location: In a niche with a glass front, south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, crushed velvet robe. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig. Lips: parted.

Size: Life size.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Etla (in the Soldedad Group), Mitla, Santa Ana del Valle, Tamazulapan, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teotitlán, Teposcolula, Tilantongo, Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán.

External Links:
The story is in John 19:1-5.
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Ecce Homo.

Next: Also in a niche in the south wall of the nave, a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows

Previous santo

Introduction to San Miguel Ejutla

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.