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

This page: Yanhuitlán's Ayuxi Chapel

Also for Yanhuitlán we have:

Tour of the Church
Tour of the Museum

The Ayuxi Chapel in Yanhuitlán

Above the town of Yanhuitlán is a calvary and an important chapel. Señor Ventura explained the following: the town of Yanhuitlán has eight neighborhoods: Ayuxi, Tindé, Ticó, Sayufu, Ticoi, Yuuchanó, Vanná, and Chaticoi; each neighborhood had a mayordomía. Each mayordomía had a special devotion to the Christ who is the Señor de la Misericordia and so each one had a special crucifix. Because the feast of the archangels was also important to Yanhuitlán, mayordomías were named for the archangels and each one had a statue representing its santo. Señor Ventura told us that today five of these crucifixes and angels, those belonging to defunct mayordomías, are in the Convento museum, and two are in the church. The most famous of all, the magnificent Divino Señor de Ayuxi, is in the Calvary chapel, a half-mile from the great church of Santo Domingo, along Calle Aldama.

The crucifix looks old. Much blood flows from the five wounds and from large lesions at the knees. The skin is purple around these lesions, and around the wound in the side. The sheen of the skin is realistic. The scutum has a golden color and is set in an unusual vertical position behind the pelvis. On the head is a one-piece metal combination cruciform halo and crown of thorns, also in a golden color.

Basis for identification: Identified by a sign over the glass case.

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric loincloth, metal scutum, metal crown of thorns. Hair: wig

Size: About 7 feet (210 cm.)

Location: Glass case centered on the main altar of the Ayuxi chape.

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, Tlacolula1, Tlacolula2Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán Convento1, Yanhuitlán Convento2, Yanhuitlán Convento3, Yanhuitlán Convento4, Yanhuitlán Convento5, Zimatlán.

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

In the chapel we also took this photo of an unidentified female saint:

Unfortunately, we do not have field notes on this santo.

The photos shown here are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. You are free to share or remix them on two conditions: first, that you attribute them 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 these photos, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.