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
Trinity

Unidentified Franciscan saint
Virgin Mary (1)

Virgin Mary (2)

Other Santos at Teotitlán del Valle

Crucifix

The crown of thorns is less stylized than usual, and there is no cruciform halo. There is a break in the gesso at the left breast. Blood flows from the crown and from the hands and feet but there are no other open wounds and the blood is not excessive. On the day of our visit, parish-ioners were seen to touch the crucifix lightly with their flowers, cross themselves, and then take the flowers home.

Local Name: El Señor de la Misericordia.

Basis for Identification: Crucifix, loincloth with scutum, crown of thorns.

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

Location: North wall of the nave, before the first pillar (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric loincloth and scutum. Eyes: closed. Hair: wig.

Size: About 6 feet 3 inches (190 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle1, Santa Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del Valle3, Cuilapan, Etla, Guelavia, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Tamazulapan1, Tamazulapan2, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teitipac Our Lady of the Rosary, Teotitlán1, Teotitlán2, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2, Teposcolula3 (in Rosary case),  Teposcolula Convento1, Teposcolula Convento2, Tilantongo1, Tilantongo2, Tlacolula, Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán Convento1, Yanhuitlán Convento2, Yanhuitlán Convento3, Yanhuitlán Convento4, Yanhuitlán Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Crucifixes in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix
Wikipedia: Crucifix
Christian Iconography: The Crucifixion


Christ in the Purple Robe

The crown of thorns is less stylized than usual, and the face finished in less detail. The hands are crossed as if tied. The backs of the hands seem to have been repainted many times.

Local Name: El Santo Nazareno

Basis for Identification: Standing, crown of thorns.

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

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

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig.

Size: About feet (165 cm.)

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

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


Previous santo

Introduction to Teotitlán del Valle

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.