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 Teotitlán del Valle:

Christ Child
Christ in a coffin
Christ: Ecce Homo
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Palm Sunday Christ
Resurrection of Christ
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Hyacinth
St. John the Baptist
St. John the Evangelist
St. Joseph (?)
St. Mary Madgalene
St. Peter the Apostle (1)
St. Peter the Apostle (2)
St. Sebastian

Unidentified Franciscan saint
Virgin Mary (1)

Virgin Mary (2)

Other santos not photographed
Christ in a Coffin

Christ in a Coffin:
A red blanket covers the figure up to the chin. The face is highly individualized, with craggy cheeks and a very dark complexion. A white rag ties up the jaw, and there is a peach bandanna on the forehead, where one would expect the crown of thorns.

Local Name: El Señor de Muerte

Site: Church of Santa María de la Natividad (Preciosa Sangre de Cristo), Teotitlán del Valle.

Location: In a glass case on the first large altar along the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood with dark, glossy finish, fabric headgear. Eyes: sculpted. Hair: wig.

Size: About 5½ feet (165 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Huitzo, Mitla, Tamazulapan, TeitipacTeposcolula, Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán (in Soledad group), Zaachila.

External Link:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of suffering Christ in a coffin.

Next: Above this coffin, a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)

Previous santo

Introduction to Teotitlán 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.