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 Santa Ana del Valle:

Christ: Ecce Homo
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Crucifix (3)
Crucifixion Group
Holy Family
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anne (1)
St. Anne (2)
St. Anne (3)
St. Joseph
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)

Other santos not photographed
Ecce Homo

Ecce Homo:
This is a jointed figure, the arms separately constructed from the shoul-ders. The crown of thorns is woven, but in a haphazard pattern unlike the common basketweave. There is carved hair beneath the wig. The face is peculiarly elongated, staring directly ahead with enormous, luminous eyes. There is a bloody lesion on the left cheek. The hands portray the musculature realistically, but the right hand is oddly twisted. The skin surface has a rubbery look.

Local Name: El Santo Nazareño.

Basis for Identification: Standing in a purple robe, wearing the crown of thorns, lines of blood on the face.

Other characteristics: Hands tied together by a rope hanging from the neck.

Site: Church of Santa Ana del Valle.

Location: On an altar right of the central altar along the south wall of nave, to the right of the Candelaria (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garment. Eyes: glass, with lashes. Hair: wig.

Size: About 5 feet (150 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Ejutla, Etla (in the Soldedad Group), Etla2, Mitla, Tamazulapan, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teotitlán, Teposcolula, Tilantongo, Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán.

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

Next: At the east end of the south wall is a particularly striking Crucifixion Group.

Previous santo

Introduction to Santa Ana del Valle

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.