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

Christ Carrying the Cross

Christ carrying the Cross:
The face has a fine, lifelike sheen; the hands are also lifelike. Blood is represented in the traditional manner. The crosspieces are green and dowel-shaped, with silver-colored end caps.

Basis for Identification: Purple robe, knotted cincture, blood streaming from the forehead.

Other characteristics: To the left, on a low stand on the altar, is a 2 foot (60 cm.) Trinity of recent construction.

Site: Church of the Assumption, Tlaxiaco.

Location: On the second altar along the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric robe. Eyes: probably glass, no lashes. Hair: wig. Lips parted.

Size: About feet (165 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, CuilapanYanhuitlán, Zimatlán.

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

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Jesus Carrying the Cross
Catholic Encyclopedia: Way of the Cross
Wikipedia: Stations of the Cross

Next: Moving ahead to the third altar, we find a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Previous santo

Introduction to Tlaxiaco

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.