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

Our Lady of the Assumption

Our Lady of the Assumption:
The mantle is lined in red. Vestiges of blue outline its folds, but the gold beneath, in a stylized pattern of curling petals, is in good condition. The robe has a round, softly gathered red collar and is caught at the waist by a gold sash tied in a double bow. The robe itself is gold, with a pattern of tiny flowers and dots. A red undergarment shows at the cuffs. There is damage to the fingers of the right hand, the thumbs have been lost, and the outer edge of the left palm has split away. The hair falls smoothly to below the shoulders. The skin does not have much sheen, though the coloring is natural and the blush vivid. The pudgy faces and tiny features of the three angels in the cloud have an appealing simplicity. The horn of the moon on the Virgin's right has broken away.

Local Name: Identified by Sr. Lopez as Santa Maria Yasichi.

Basis for Identification: Standing on angels, cloud, and horned moon, with arms in orant position.

Other characteristics: Full golden crown.

Site: Church of San Juan Teitipac.

Location: On a rough plank set on an old painted andas along the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Polychrome, solid wood. Eyes: painted. Hair: carved. Closed mouth.

Size: Less than 3 feet (90 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Coixtlahuaca, Ejutla1, Ejutla2, Mitla1, Mitla2Tlacolula, possibly Tlaxiaco, Tule.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of the Assumption of Mary in Mexico
Wikipedia: Assumption of Mary
Christian Iconography: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Next: A statue of St. Joseph along the south wall of the nave

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.