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 Teitipac:

Christ carrying the Cross
Christ: Ecce Homo (1)
Christ: Ecce Homo (2)
Christ in a coffin
Christ in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ") 1
Christ in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ") 2
Christ resurrected
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Crucifix (3)
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Candlemas
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Assumption
Our Lady of the Rosary (1)
Our Lady of the Rosary (2)
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Benedict
St. Hyacinth
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. John the Baptist (1)

St. John the Baptist (2)
St. John the Baptist, head of
St. Joseph
St. Nicholas Factor
St. Peter Avril
St. Peter the Apostle (1)
St. Peter the Apostle (2)
St. Simon Stock
Unidentified saint

Other santos not photographed

Christ Carrying the Cross (?)

Christ Carrying the Cross (?):
The crown is of a woven design and unpainted. In both hands, the ring and middle fingers are fused. The awkward position of the arms suggests moveable limbs.

Basis for Identification: The crown of thorns, streaming blood, and purple robe would be consistent with identifying this as an "Ecce Homo" (see "Comparable santos," below). But in that iconographic type the hands are usually crossed at the chest or waist, whereas this statue's arms seem positioned for carrying the cross, so it we prefer to identify this santo as Christ Carrying the Cross. (The other santos of Christ carrying a cross that we visited in Oaxaca all had the streaming blood; all but Cuilapan's had the purple robe, and the crown of thorns was included on Achiutla's and Zimatlán's.)

Site: Church of San Juan Teitipac.

Location: Left of a free-standing retablo along the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric robe. Hair: wig.

Size: Life-size.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca (carrying the cross): Achiutla, Cuilapan, Tlaxiaco, Yanhuitlán, Zimatlán.
Comparable santos in Oaxaca (Ecce Homo): Ejutla, Etla (in the Soldedad Group), Etla2, Mitla, Santa Ana del Valle, Tamazulapan, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teotitlán, Teposcolula, Tilantongo, Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán.

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

Catholic Encyclopedia: Way of the Cross
Wikipedia: Stations of the Cross

Next: Also along the south wall, a crucifix in a glass case

Previous santo

Introduction to San Juan Teitipac

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.