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 Tlaxiaco:

Bust of the Virgin Mary
Christ carrying the Cross
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of the Assumption

Our Lady of the Rosary (no photograph)
Unidentified priest

Our Lady of the Assumption

Our Lady of the Assumption:
The figure stands on the crescent moon, which is gold, in an aqua robe and lace veil. The hands are together in prayer, the gaze downward toward the viewer. There is a charming blush to the face. Behind the head is a large gold vertical halo. The crown is also gold in color, and very large. The whole has the look of having been freshly refurbished.

Local Name: La Virgen de la Asunción.

Basis for Identification: Crescent moon, blue mantle.

Other characteristics: Halo, full crown.

Site: Church of the Assumption, Tlaxiaco.

Location: Beneath the central canopy in the apse.

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig. Closed mouth.

Size: About feet (75 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Coixtlahuaca, Ejutla1, Ejutla2, Mitla1, Mitla2Teitipac, Tlacolula, 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: Along the south wall, another statue of the Virgin Mary.

Previous santo

Introduction to Tlaxiaco

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