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 Nochixtlán:

Calvary Group
Our Lady of Sorrows
Unidentified Female (Mary Magdalene?)

Other santos not photographed

Calvary Group

Calvary Group:
On this page we shall discuss the crucifix shown above. The following pages will study the two figures on the left and right.
The sash on the Christ figure is tied in the knot commonly used in sculpted Misericordia loincloths. There is no paint, only stain. The knees are made to look skinned. The halo is silver in color and is a one-piece combination of the cruciform halo and the crown of thorns.

Local Name: El Señor de la Misericordia.

Basis for Identification: Red loincloth with large knotted sash, halo/crown of thorns, INRI plaque.

Other characteristics: The cross is sculpted into a twisted-rope pattern, with brass end caps. A second cross, with a sunburst circle positioned at the crossing, is behind the crucifix.

Site: Church of Santa María de la Asunción Nochixtlán.

Location: On an andas, in the center of the altar in the third bay of the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Stained wood, fabric loincloth, metal halo/crown and end caps. Hair: wig.

Size: About 7 feet (213 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle1, Santa Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del Valle3, Cuilapan, Etla, Guelavia, MitlaTamazulapan1, 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

Next: The statue on the left, Our Lady of Sorrows

Introduction to Asunción Nochixtlán

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.