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

St. Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene:
Above the left wrist one can see a patch of blue where the unpainted mannequin arm begins. The hands are delicate. The face is unusually full; the eyes are large and soulful. The necklace is of plastic pop-beads. The robe is white, the mantle purple. At the hem the bare left foot is showing.

Local Name: La Santa Magdalena.

Basis for Identification: Long golden hair, halo, eyes cast up and hands held as at the Cross.

Other characteristics: White robe, purple cape.

Site: Church of San Miguel Ejutla.

Location: North wall of the nave, to the right of the Soledad on the latter's altar (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, polyester garments, plastic jewelry, metal halo. Eyes: glass, with lashes. Hair: wig.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, CoixtlahuacaHuitzo, Ocotlán, Tamazulapan, Teotitlán, Teposcolula.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Mary Magdalene in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Mary Magdalene
Wikipedia: Mary Magdalene
Christian Iconography: St. Mary Magdalene, Follower of Christ

Next: On an altar along the north wall, a statue of an unidentified Franciscan saint

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.