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 Juan Guelavia:

Christ fallen with the Cross
Christ in the pretorium
Crucifix
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
St. Nicholas Factor
Unidentified saint
Virgin and Child
Virgin Mary (1)
Virgin Mary (2)

Other santos not photographed

Calvary Scene

Calvary Scene

Site: Church of San Juan Guelavia.

Location: In a glass case in the north section of the transept (see note).


Crucifix

Local Name: El Señor de la Misericordia

Basis for Identification: Cross, crown of thorns, sunburst halo with stars, INRI plaque, loincloth with scutum, bloody wounds in side, hands, feet, knees.

Other characteristics: Tinsel rope

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle1, Santa Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del Valle3, Cuilapan, EtlaMitla, Nochixtlán, Tamazulapan1, Tamazulapan2, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teitipac Our Lady of the Rosary, Teotitlán1, Teotitlán2, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2, Teposcolula3 (in Rosary case),  Teposcolula Convento1, Teposcolula Convento2, Tilantongo1, Tilantongo2, Tlacolula1, Tlacolula2, Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán Convento1, Yanhuitlán Convento2, Yanhuitlán Convento3, Yanhuitlán Convento4, Yanhuitlán Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Crucifixes in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix
Wikipedia: Crucifix
Christian Iconography: The Crucifixion


Our Lady of Sorrows

Local Name: La Madre de los Dolores

Basis for Identification: Upturned gaze, clasped hands, blue mantle, sunburst halo, standing to left of cross.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle, Coixtlahuaca, Cuilapan1, Cuilapan2, Ejutla, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Ocotlán, Díaz Ordaz, Tamazulapan, Teitipac, Teotitlán, Teposcolula (in Calvary group), Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán, Yanhuitlán (?).

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Mater dolorosa
Wikipedia: Our Lady of Sorrows
Christian Iconography: Mater Dolorosa, The Sorrowful Mother


Saint John the Evangelist

Local Name: San Juan Evangelista

Basis for Identification: Youthful face, upturned gaze, sunburst halo, standing to right of cross.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Ejutla, Huitzo, Ocotlán, Teotitlán, Teposcolula, Tlacolula.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Saint John the Evangelist in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. John the Evangelist
Wikipedia: John the Evangelist
Christian Iconography: Saint John the Evangelist


Next: We go to the south wall of the nave to study a statue of the Virgin Mary

Previous santo

Introduction to San Juan Guelavia

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 "transept" is the part of the building that crosses the nave so that the whole building has the shape of a cross.

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.