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 (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

Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows:
The upper body is made of arms jointed at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, according to Sr. Aquino Cruz. At the wrists, the joints are carved so that they will pivot. The construction of the lower body is of frame. The hands are carved as one unit. The face wears an expression of deep anguish. In a carved wooden frame at the statue's left foot is a black and white photograph of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Local Name: La Madre de los Dolores.

Basis for Identification: Eyes cast upward, praying hands at chest, sunburst halo. The wimple encloses the face.

Other characteristics: Red robe with purple cape, white lace veil.

Site: Church of Santa Ana del Valle.

Location: North wall of the nave, just past the first rib (see note).

Media and construction: Frame construction. Face and hands are wood, gesso, paint. Fabric garments. Eyes: glass. Sculpted teeth, some broken.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: AchiutlaCoixtlahuaca, Cuilapan1, Cuilapan2, Ejutla, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Ocotlán, Díaz Ordaz, Tamazulapan, Teitipac, Teotitlán, Teposcolula (in Calvary group), Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán, Yanhuitlán (?), Zimatlán.

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

Next: At the center of the north wall we find an altar with two notable crucifixes and a Trinity. We will look first at the crucifix on the right.

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.